Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State has signed into law the controversial Imo State Hotel and Restaurant Occupancy Tax bill.
He also signed the Imo State Signage and Advertisement Agency (Establishment) bill and the Employment and Empowerment Trust Fund bill into law.
The signing into law of these bills has brought the number of bills he has signed into law to eleven since he was sworn into office on May 29, 2019
The three laws can be cited as: Imo State Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Tax Law No.35, of 2019, Imo State Signage and Advertisement Agency (Establishment) Law No.36 of 2019 and, Employment and Empowerment Trust Fund Law No.37 of 2019.
Performing the signing of the bills into laws at the Sam Mbakwe Expanded Executive Council Chambers, Ihedioha gave details on the significance and benefits of the law.
He said the Imo State Hotel and Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Tax Law No.35 of 2019 was aimed at sanitizing the consumer sub-sector of the tourism sector in the state with the intent of boosting revenue of the state for its overall development.
He noted that this law is not designed to tax Imo citizens arbitrarily but to place minimal tax on tourists coming into the state with a view to generating revenue for the development of the tate.
But business a.m. investigations revealed that the members of the Imo State Hoteliers Association (ISHA) differ on the implementation of the new law.
They argued that they were not duly consulted before the law went to increase the price of wine, liquor, spirits, cigarettes, tobacco, jewels and jewelries, perfumes and cosmetics sold to their customers.
Those who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “now that the state government would use our members and our establishments as tax collectors, what is our share or compensation for working for the government?”
They also argued “hotels and restaurants owned by serving government officials do not pay taxes even hotels owned by the state government do not pay, and as a result, there would be problem of getting full compliance,” they maintained.
Governor Ihedioha said the Imo State Employment and Empowerment Trust Fund law would aid job creation in the state, particularly for the teeming young population in the state.
On the Imo State Signage and Advertisement Agency (Establishment) law, he said it does not seek to establish an agency on advertisements, but to streamline and regulate indiscriminate display of signs and advertisements across the state.
According to the governor the laws are geared towards improving the state and the well-being of the people.
He commended the members of Imo State House of Assembly for being proactive.
“The Imo State House of Assembly is perhaps the most proactive and accomplished House of Assembly in the nation and in the state.
“Eleven bills passed into law by the House of Assembly within a period of six months is a major accomplishment. Many Houses of Assembly may not pass eleven bills into law in four years,” he said.
He urged the speaker and his colleagues to maintain the spirit with a view to accelerating the rebuilding process, which according to him, “is already yielding significant results”.
S/Court Ruling: What Happened In Imo Enough For INEC Chair To Resign — APC Chieftain
A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress, Mr Peter Esele, said on Friday that the Independent National Electoral Commission should take all the blames for the verdict of the Supreme Court on the Imo election.
Esele, a former President of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, made the declaration while speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Benin.
He argued that Nigerians should look beyond the controversy of the judgment and address the foundation of the judgment
The activist noted that the judgment underscored the inefficiency and ineptitude of INEC.
According to him, the result of the governorship election, held on March 9, 2019, in Imo should not have been announced in the first place because so many irregularities were reported during the election.
Esele said that in view of the reported irregularities, one would have expected INEC to have cancelled the election and have a proper election conducted.
“INEC did not do its job properly so that is why Supreme Court judges are intervening.”
The APC stalwart stressed that for the Supreme Court to have a unanimous decision over a matter or election, it means the election was badly conducted.
“So what happened in Imo State is enough for the INEC chairman to resign if Nigeria is a sane clime where things are done properly.
“Whoever is aggrieved has to accept it because the Supreme Court is the highest court in the land,” said Esele.
Group Gives Tinubu 24 Hours To Reveal Position On Amotekun
A Southwest Association, Save Lagos Group, has given the All Progressives Congress stalwart, Bola Tinubu, 24 hours to reveal his position on the Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed ‘Operation Amotekun’.
Tinubu, who is seen as the leader of the Southwest by many, has remained silent on Amotekun which was launched by Southwest governors last week.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, had on Tuesday declared the outfit as illegal while the Southwest governors have remained unfazed.
In a statement on Friday, the Convener, Save Lagos Group, Adeniyi Sulaiman, said the group was giving Tinubu 24 hours to speak up.
Sulaiman asked Tinubu, who is an advocate of restructuring, to be courageous regardless of his rumoured Presidential ambition.
The activist rubbished threats by northern groups like the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore which stated that supporting Amotekun may cost the Southwest the Presidency in 2023.
He said it was hypocritical of the Federal Government to allow Shariah Police, Hisbah, to operate in more than 10 northern states while it declared Amotekun, which is operating only in the Southwest as illegal.
The SLG convener said the safety of the people of the Southwest was worth more important than any Presidential ambition.
He commended several personalities like Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Debanjo; activist, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN; Chief Olu Falae, Otunba Gani Adams and several others for speaking up for the people of the region.
PHOTOS: Soldiers Invade, Burn Ijaw Community
Troops of Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation Delta Safe (ODS) have invaded and burnt part of Bilabiri community in Ekeremor Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, The Nation reports.
It was gathered that soldiers attacked the community on Friday morning and forced residents to flee into the creeks for safety.