Ajegunle People Must Resist Multiple Taxations and Agitate for Basic Amenities
Residents, traders, and workers in Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Lagos State, and elsewhere continue to face unrelenting government attacks on their small businesses and living conditions from local, state, and federal governments, as well as parasitic multinational business organisations like EKO DISCO.
By Moshood Osunfunrewa, DSM Ajegunle
The community people have come under sustained attacks through the imposition of multiple taxes and levies by the local government, including a Demand Notice (DN) ranging from N7,500 to N18,000 on kiosks, shops and other forms of small businesses including a ridiculous Radio and Television Permit (RTP). DSM Ajegunle stepped in to help reopen a small business shop that was closed by the Local Government Authorities recently. According to Iya Fathia one of the victims of multiple taxes and obnoxious policy of the local government, “I’ve only been running a petty grocery store for three weeks and two days with LAPO funds (Loan), and the local government is forcing me to pay N7,500 in taxes. I don’t understand.” Unfortunately, there is hardly anything community people benefit from the local government in terms of social investment.
Similarly, the Local Government has failed to carry out basic minimal responsibilities as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended). For instance, waste management has been privatized, primary healthcare is not only in shambles but collapsed while primary schooling is largely underfunded and in a sorry state. Similar to what is obtainable at the state and federal level, the Local Government is known for revenue collection and has been parasitic with no plan to improve the standard of living of community people. Revenue generated is never accounted for, basic facilities and infrastructure are in a terrible state, youth unemployment, which engenders youth restiveness and crime, is on the rise and; flooding is the order of the day due to poor drainage facilities and lack of basic amenities.
This agony and criminal exploitation must end. People, communities, and workers in Ajegunle should find inspiration in a series of local and international struggles to fight back. For example, the working masses’ struggle resulted in the removal of N750 Fixed Charge electricity and several other concessions in other areas of mass struggle.
It is only through mass mobilisation, and struggle that Ajegunle people, traders, and workers will be able to win genuine concessions from the greedy government. However, it is only the planning and democratic management of our resources and production by the working people to meet the needs of all that can sustainably move the economy forward.