PHCCIMA Gets R/S Commerce Commissioner’s Assurance On Access To Information On Legal Taxes

By Anderson Hart
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Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce has gotten assurances from the Rivers state Ministry of Commerce to create opportunity for Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce and the taxpaying business community in the state to get access to information on taxes that are legally backed by laws of the state and related matters to curb cases of illegal taxation, touting and corruption at all levels of the tax system.

The Rivers state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Hon. Bright Jacobs made this assertion when president of PHCCIMA, Dr Emi Membere-Otaji led a delegation of exco and council members on a courtesy call to the commissioner in his office in Port Harcourt.

He said the ministry will form a strong synergy with Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce to ensure that the menace of multiple taxation is brought to an end even as he noted that his ministry will continue to support businesses in the state by ensuring that only well defined and legal taxes are paid to authorize government dedicated account at the internal revenue board.

Hon. Jacobs Congratulated the PHCCIMA president and his exco for a successful election and inauguration, expressing confidence in the caliber of PHCCIMA executives elected, “Before me I see respected and exceptional individuals with proven pedigree capable of transforming and adding value to the chamber” he said, adding also that the ministry will help mobilize businesses in the state to join membership of the chamber so that opportunities within can be harnessed to encourage the quest for diversification of the economy.

Earlier on the President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Dr Emi Membere-Otaji has congratulated the honourable commissioner on his appointment, and expressed hope that a collaborative synergy with the ministry will ensure that businesses that hitherto packed up to neighbouring states and countries are attracted back.

He emphasized the need for all businesses in Rivers state to come under the chamber of commerce to work closely in the face of the crunchy economic downturn. He said companies in the state should make membership of the chamber a priority to encourage the synergy in promoting the diversification effort of government.

The PHCCIMA boss who called for immediate action against nuisance taxes frowned against the retention of a regime of multiple taxation; according to him the practice is constantly affecting businesses and had ultimately hampered increased revenue to the government.

“One of the cardinal objectives of the PHCCIMA led administration is to make the chamber a business chamber that will ultimately incubate new businesses and create new business linkages to encourage and promote import substitution and export promotion”. he said, urging the commissioner to partner with the chamber in the conduct of PHCCIMA quarterly meeting. The meeting according to him is strategic as critical economic discourse will be undertaken with key corporate economic players in the state.

Dr Membere-Otaji solicited for a conducive business environment that will enable businesses to thrive in the state, stressing that too many taxes are bad for business as the efforts required to comply as well as the total tax liability may drive up the cost of doing business and deplete profits, thereby adversely affecting the competitiveness of the business entity in question. He harped on the need to eliminate double taxation and the nefarious activities of touts and illegal agents.

The Port Harcourt chamber of Commerce helmsman also assured the commissioner that businesses in the state are ready and willing to pay their taxes but only if such taxes are legal. He urged the commissioner to support the process to harmonize the multiplicity of taxes, as well as rationalize them so that businesses and individuals do not feel that they are being constantly taxed

He also disclosed that Commerce Port Harcourt, a PHCCIMA magazine will be coming out soon, according to him, the objective is to highlight the economic opportunities and potentials in the state and to place Rivers state in global map to woo investors.

He used the occasion to congratulate the honourable commissioner on his appointment, and stressed the need for a collaborative synergy with the ministry to ensure that businesses that hitherto packed up to neighbouring states and countries are attracted back to the state.