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Residents Condemn Kaduna’s N1,000 Dev’t Levy

Residents of Kaduna on Thursday condemned the state government’s imposition of a levy which will mandate every taxable adult resident in the state to pay an annual development levy of N1,000.

This is contained in Section 9 (2) of the Kaduna State Tax Codification and Consolidation law 2020.

The state government, through the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS) on Wednesday said it would commence full implementation of the annual development levy in 2021.

The Executive Chairman of the agency, Dr. Zaid Abubakar, said the contribution would serve as their contribution to transforming the infrastructure of the state and in repositioning the economy.

However, residents condemned the development, saying it amounted to an additional burden on residents who have faced an economically turbulent year.

Daily Trust reports that the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) 2019 report puts the poverty headcount rate for Kaduna State at 43.5 per cent while the poverty gap index is 15.5 per cent.

Mercy Igabi, a food vendor in the state, while expressing her displeasure said: “This is a huge problem for people like us who are low-income earners. Then there are people who may not have jobs or a source of livelihood, even to eat is a problem these days.”

Ibrahim Hussain, a civil servant, said it is unfair for the state government to demand Payee, ground rents, vehicle tax and now demand development levy from residents, emphasising that Kaduna State was over-taxing residents.

“Get the youths jobs before you start asking them to pay a levy to the government,” said Kayode James, a mechanic around Mogadishu. “We have a lot of unemployed youths in the streets, where do you expect them to get the money to pay? This is wrong especially at this time when businesses have folded,” he said.

Kaduna State generated N44 billion in 2019, surpassing its initial target of N43bn and the highest internally generated revenue (IGR) collection in the history of the state.

The NBS had rated the state as 6th in terms of IGR for 2019, the highest in the north apart from the FCT but many say to achieve the feat, residents are being over-taxed.

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