COVID-19: Delta introduces tax incentives to save low income earners


In its determination to further cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, the Delta state government has introduced tax relief incentives to some categories of persons in the informal sector of the economy.

Those expected to benefit from the state government’s gesture include private school owners, hoteliers, private hospital owners, water providers, publishers in the media industry, transport companies and owners of eateries among others. 

The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, and the chairman, Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, Monday Onyeme stated this while briefing newsmen  in Asaba and  said the tax relief incentives was to enable beneficiaries remain in business in this era of coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Aniagwu pointed out that the state government had taken proactive steps in the past to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 that had led to the drop in the price of crude oil in the international market. 

The information commissioner listed some of the steps taken by the state government to include downward review of the state 2020 budget, provision of food items in form of palliatives for the less privileged in the state as well as the establishment of isolation and treatment centres for COVID-19 patients with a view to flattening the curve of the pandemic.

He stated that the World Bank offered the state government the sum of $4.5 million as grant for budget discipline, due process, transparency and accountability in its financial transactions.

Speaking on the development, Onyeme said the tax waiver could also be enjoyed by any other entrepreneur in the informal sector through application, reiterating that the essence of the tax relief incentives was to keep businesses afloat to prevent loss of jobs.

On his part, the commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr. Barry Gbe, said  the tax waiver would not in any way affect the implementation of the 2020 budget of the state government that was reviewed downward from N395 billion to N282 billion. He stated that the incentive was part of government’s magnanimity towards making the informal sector to be economically vibrant and viable. 

Dr. Gbe stated that 17 per cent of the budget was to revamp the economy of the state while other percentages would cater for other sectors, including road infrastructure. 

Also speaking during the briefing, the commissioner for Finance, Sir Fidelis Tilije, said the state government has put machinery in place to stop double taxation, adding that it created an enabling environment for businesses to thrive despite the threat occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic. 

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