Former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, on Thursday appeared before the Onitsha Office of the Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (Tax office).
Obi was summoned by Mrs Nwakpudolu Juliet, the Chief Tax Officer coordinating GRA Phase 2 Onitsha as a Senior Business Manager.
Confirming the visit at the tax office amidst heavy down pour at 10 am, Obi said he was summoned to appear before the tax office at 10: 00 am hence he had to run from Lagos to Onitsha to meet up the appointment.
When probed on his feelings on the invitation, Obi said “Nothing to worry about. As a citizen, I can visit any office in the country, including those in my state when I have issues to sort out.”
He even commended the conduct of the Chief Tax Officer, whom he said was polite and did her duties professionally.
Obi said he was asked to show his six years tax clearance, which this reporter sighted the receipts totaling N205 million.
“I am happy at the professional way Juliet conducted herself. It was a first class conduct and this is the kind of person that every International organisation should hire. I am sure she was not anticipating that I will answer her summon. But as a good citizen who knows the importance of taxation for government to operate, I honoured her summon.
“I wish other people could be like her in attending to clients and tax payers the professional way she attended to me,” the former Governor said.
On the issue of tax evasion, Obi appealed to citizens to pay their taxes regularly, lamenting that those evading tax are shortchanging the people and government because government can only do great work for the masses when citizens pay taxes.
He however appealed to government to ensure smaller businesses are not crippled by tax as over burdening of smaller businesses kills them. He said wealthy people should be encouraged to pay taxes adequately.
Mrs Nwakpudolu, who confirmed the invitation, said her office requested evidence of payment of taxes in the last six years from the former Governor.
She said the government of Chief Willie Obiano was doing a great developmental work hence the taxes were needed to support him, thus informing the invitation to prominent citizens like Obi.
Mr. Obi came with evidence of payment for the last 20 years and left the assessor regretting that she would have easily met her N80 million target for the year if Obi had paid such huge amounts he paid yearly to her office rather than Enugu State.