Governor Nyesom Wike is in the news again. The last time he was mentioned, it was for intervening in the illegal attempts to invade the privacy Prof. Joi Nunieh by the Nigerian police as a consequence of a feud between her and Minister Godswill Akpabio. But that isn’t all Governor Wike has been up to, he has also been implementing policies that stimulate the local economy in Rivers State and offers the already disillusioned citizens a much needed economic reprieve.
In a bid to curb the economic impact of Covid-19 Rivers State, Governor Wike suspends all taxes across the State for SME, Shop owners, hairdressers etc. For the year 2020.
— Port Harcourt People (@AskPHPeople) July 29, 2020
A government tax waiver is an important economic stimulus, especially for small and medium scale businesses which are already overburdened by the duplication of taxes from the federal, state and local government levels. By reducing the pressure to remit taxes from entrepreneurs and businesses, the people behind them can feel motivated to pivot their businesses to reflect the current cultural and economic realities.
It seems Governor Okowa of Delta State is also thinking along the same lines, because he has also signed a policy that offers similar waivers to certain businesses operating within his state’s borders. According to Mr. Monday Onyeme, the Chairman, State Board of Internal Revenue, private schools, transporters, private hospitals, eateries among other would benefit from the tax incentive. The waiver will also cover all outstanding audit liabilities from 2011 to 2019 by all captured businesses will no longer attract interest or any penalty for the period.
Governor Kayode Fayemi is contributing his quota by crashing the costs for laying fibre optic cables in Ekiti State. Fibre optic cables allow businesses transmit large amounts of virtual data and lower the costs of internet services overall in a region. Most internet companies have refrained from laying fibre optic cables because of the prohibitive costs of performing this necessary task but with Ekiti state leading the charge by lowering the costs in governor Fayemi’s state, (MTN has already begun the process of laying cables to expand its coverage), they are opening the state to ICT investments.
By creating these incentives for enterpreneurs and small business owners in their states, Governors Fayemi, Okowa and Wike are showing the country how to lead by example and empathy. Government officials who want to scapegoat financial institutions for offering USSD services can learn a thing or two.