Igbo Traders in Ilorin Shutdown Shops in Protest Against Alleged Intimidation and Over Taxation

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Igbo Traders in Ilorin Shutdown Shops in Protest Against Alleged Intimidation and Over Taxation

Igbo traders and businessmen in Ilorin, Kwara state, organized under the Igbo Traders Association, took a decisive stand on Friday, closing their shops in protest against perceived intimidation and excessive taxation by the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS). The protest action, which affected various commercial hubs including Oko Erin, Ibrahim Taiwo Road, and the General Hospital area, saw numerous traders left stranded as their businesses ground to a halt.

According to reports gathered by The Tribune newspapers, the protest was triggered by the alleged heavy-handed approach of KWIRS, as the revenue agency reportedly deployed a mobile court to prosecute and seal off the businesses of the Igbo traders without affording them proper representation. The traders voiced their grievances, accusing the agency of targeting them unfairly and employing tactics that hindered their ability to conduct business freely.

In response to these allegations, KWIRS defended its actions, citing the failure of some taxpayers to fulfill their civic duties by remitting the appropriate taxes to the state government. The agency emphasized that the enforcement measures taken were in accordance with relevant state laws and aimed at ensuring compliance with tax obligations. However, the Igbo traders argue that they have been unfairly singled out and subjected to undue pressure, highlighting the need for a more equitable and transparent tax regime.

The standoff between the Igbo traders and KWIRS underscores the broader issue of taxation and its impact on businesses, particularly within the context of minority groups. As tensions continue to simmer, both sides are urged to engage in constructive dialogue to address grievances and find mutually acceptable solutions. In the meantime, the closure of shops serves as a stark reminder of the challenges facing small businesses and the importance of fair and equitable tax policies in fostering a conducive environment for economic growth and development.

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