State has urged security agencies to arrest and prosecute any person or group collecting any form of revenue from traders within the state.

The Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong, stated this in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday in Uyo in reaction to the controversial collection of illegal levies from traders in spite of the tax holiday granted them.

Ememobong stressed that the tax holiday granted to traders in all markets in the State by the governor was still in force, and urged traders in the to report any act of molestation or extortion to security agencies.

He said state government has therefore directed that market unions and management committees should ensure full cessation of all levies and tickets till further notice.

His words, “Take notice that His Excellency, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel had earlier granted tax holidays to traders in all markets in the State.

“Take further notice that the said tax holiday is still in force, therefore government will take serious steps to punish persons or groups who flout this order, by collecting any form of revenue from traders within the state.

“To this end, the state government directs that market Unions and Management Committees should ensure full cessation of all levies and tickets till further notice.

“Security agencies should arrest and prosecute any person or group collecting revenue from traders. Traders should report any act of molestation or extortion to security agencies.

“The State Government encourages traders and market operators to be law abiding as they go about their legitimate businesses without any fear of molestation or extortion”.

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