ABSAA imposes taxes on candidates’ campaign materials
Taxes, ranging from N15 million down to N500, 000, have been imposed on elective office candidates, who want to publicly display their campaign materials in Abia State.
This was, yesterday, released by the General Manager/Chief Executive Officer of Abia State Signage And Advertising Agency (ABSAA), Tony Otuonye, saying that the taxes are in accordance with extant provisions of the state Structures For Signage And Advertising Agency Law No. 9 of 2012 “to regulate the use and display of election campaign materials in Abia.”
He said that pursuant to this law, the agency, with effect from March 30, 2022, banned any form of political campaign and, therefore, removed billboards, posters and signs placed without it’s permission or approval.
According to Otuonye, aspirants for elective positions are to pay, to the agency, fees/taxes as follows: Presidency N15 million, governorship, N10 million and senate, N6 million.
Other rates are N3 million, N1.5 million and N500, 000 for House of Representatives, State House of Assembly and Local Council Chairmanship, respectively.
Reacting to the development, the state All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Chairman, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, said the party is not surprised.
He alleged that since the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state is sponsoring its candidates, it might have paid the taxes for them from an alleged and unconfirmed N6 billion loans it raised for the 2023 election campaign for its candidates.
A candidate for the House of Representatives, who commented on condition of anonymity, told The Guardian that the fees are too high, stressing that young people, including women candidates, were not taken into consideration.