By Itam Offor,CRS- MOI Officer reporting from  the CRSHA

The Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly,Rt Hon. Eteng Jonah Williams has vowed that the 9th Assembly under his leadership will not support any form of extortion of citizens in the form of illegal taxes and levies.

Rt Hon Williams who spoke while receiving the Chairman and  Members of the Cross River State Anti-Tax Agency in the Assembly Complex in Calabar during a courtesy visit; assured them that the Assembly will provide the appropriate legislation  needed to facilitate the success of the Agency to ensure that the poor and vulnerable in the society are not oppressed by illegal tax agents.

He commended Governor Ben Ayade for the Membership of the Agency who are all Clerics, describing them as people of high proven Integrity.

The Speaker pointed out that as a Member of the 8th Assembly,  he sponsored the Tax Exemption Law of 2015, adding that, the amendment of that Law is already in progress and that the new Law will include Levies at  border points across the State.

Also speaking, the Leader of the House, Rt Hon. Peter Odey, emphasized the Assembly's readiness to partner the Agency maximally to ensure that they succeed in their assignment.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Cross River State Anti Tax Agency, Bishop  Emma Isong of Christian Central Chapel International Calabar, stated that he led members of the Agency to the Assembly to seek for legislative backing for the Agency.

The Chairman lamented the menace of illegal taxation on low income earners in the State while commending Governor Ben Ayade for exempting them from taxes.

He said the Governor's action has elicited encomuims from all over the world and called on everybody to, "support the goodwill of the Governor and stop illegal tax collections, ticketing/haulage, molestation of the poor and downtrodden."

In his remarks, the Secretary of the Agency, Rev. Fr Julius Adah, who presented the road map of the Agency,  stated that part of the vision of the Agency is to make Cross River State the first Tax free State for the down trodden, farmers, and small scale businesses.

Present at the event were the Member representing  obanlikwu, Hon. Sunday  Achunekan, the Clerk of the House, Barr. Bassey Ekpenyong, the Director Legal Services, Barr. Kate Ubi  as well as other members of the Agency.

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