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Palm Wine Sellers Paid Tax In Western Region, 1952!
Palm Wine Sellers Paid Tax In Western Region, 1952!
- By Erasmus Ikhide
has been hue and cry since Adams
Oshiomhole-led administration come clean
on enforcing the Federal, State, and
Local Government tax laws as entrenched
in our status books of taxation. It’s
worthy of note to educate and silence
the idle critics of Edo
State tax administration and draw
a critical balance between 1952 and 2006
tax laws where it is a must for every
Nigeria to pay his or her tax as
at when due.
herewith word for word the edit of
bye-laws under the Western Region Local
Government Law, 1952, as applied to
‘‘Etsako District Council Public Health
(Palm wine) Bye-Laws, 1955’’.
Read on: In
the exercise of the powers conferred
upon the Etsako District Council by
virtue of Section 77 of Western Region
Local Government Law, 1952 and Western
Region Legal Notice No. 25 of 1954, the
following bye-laws have been made by the
Etsako District and council with the
approval of the Minister of Justice and
Local Government to whom powers of
approval have been delegated.
Short title: - These bye-laws may
be cited as the Etsako District Council
(Palm wine) Bye-laws, 1955, and shall
apply not only to persons normally
subject to the jurisdiction of the
Etsako District Council; but to all
persons whilst within the area of its
2.In these bye-laws
Council’’ means the Etsako
‘‘Health Officer’’ includes a Medical
Officer of Health, a Health
Superintendent, a Sanitary Inspector or
other person acting under the authority,
whether general or special of the
Medical Officer of Health and whether
such Sanitary Inspector or other person
is serving in the Medical or Health
Department of Government or in the
service of the council.
3.All premises used for the sale of
palm wine for its drink or consumption
shall be registered annually in the
office of the Council by the proprietor
or occupier carrying on the business.
the Council shall not register any
premises under these bye-law until the
premises shall have been inspected and
approved by the Medical Officer of
Health and certificate of suitability
obtained as in the form ‘‘A’’ in the
Schedule. There shall be paid in respect
of every such registration a fee of ten
(10%) shillings and the District Council
shall issue a certificate of
registration in the form ‘‘B’’ in the
Schedule. Any such premises which are
not re-registered in the month of
January each year shall be deemed to be
4.The Health Officer shall at all
reasonable hours inspect any premises
wherein palm wine is exposed for sale or
deposited for the purpose of a sale or
of preparation for sale and intended for
the drink of man, and if such palm wine
appears to be unwholesome or adulterated
or unfit for the drink of man, he may
condemn the same and order it to be
destroyed or so disposed of as to
prevent it from being used for the drink
of a man.
5.If any Health Officer or Police
Officer shall shown reasonable cause the
Court may grant a warrant to enter any
building if there is reason for
believing that there is kept any palm
wine intended for sale for the drink of
man, and to search for, seize and carry
away any such palm wine and other
article in order to have the same dealt
with by the Court.
6.No dealer in palm wine shall have
in his possession any palm wine which is
unwholesome, adulterated or unfit for
7.All dealers in palm wine shall at
all times use clean receptacles for and
shall so cover or arrange such
receptacles so as to prevent the access
of flies, dust or other contaminating
agents to the palm wine
8.All dealers in palm wine shall
provide a sufficient number of drinking
vessels which shall be thoroughly washed
clean with water immediately after each
9.All dealers in palm wine shall
keep their premises, utensils, clothing
and person clean to the satisfaction of
the Health Officer.
10. The sanitary arrangements and
conveniences of all premises shall be to
the satisfaction of the Health Officer.
11. All the Health Officer shall
consider that any premises used for the
sale of palm wine should in the
interests of the public health be
closed; he may by notice of in writing
prohibit the owner or occupier from
using such premises until such time as
the prohibition shall be withdrawn. A
copy of such notice shall be sent to the
12. All palm wine premises shall be
lime-washed inside throughout once every
six months or thoroughly cleansed
periodically to the satisfaction of the
13. No room used for the purpose of
sale of palm wine shall be used as a
sleeping apartment or communicate
directly to any sleeping room.
14. All palm wine premises shall be
paved or concreted and drained to the
satisfaction of the Medical Officer of
15.The Health Officer may prohibit
any person suffering from any disease or
ailment from entering or remaining on
any of the premises used for the sale of
palm wine, should be for sanitary
reasons deem it necessary.
16. All doors of palm wine premises
shall be made to open outwards.
17. No water shall be used on any
palm wine premises except that obtained
from a source approved by the Medical
Officer of Health.
18. Penalties: - (a) Any person
who contravenes the provisions of
bye- law 5, 7, 8, 9,
12, 13, 14, 16, and 17 shall be liable
on conviction to a fine of five pounds
or to imprisonment for one month.
(b) Any person to
whom it belongs or in whose possession
or premises any adulterated or
unwholesome palm wine is found shall be
liable to a fine of ten Pounds for every
article condemned and for any subsequent
conviction to a fine of Fifty Pounds or
to imprisonment for six months.
person who hinders, prevents or
obstructs any such officer in the
performance of his duty under such
search warrant shall be liable to
a fine of Ten Pounds or one month’s
imprisonment in default of payment.
Did I hear
your grunt in total disbelieve that such
edit never exist in our status books?
How about Nigeria tax system of 2006?
Try and visit the archives. The laws of
the land have made adequate provisions
for taxation according to your earnings
even before we became an independent
nation. While my grandfather was paying
what they know and called ‘‘Egho
Uhunmon’’, meaning ‘head tax,’ along
with property tax on his white-bicycle
that borne a permanent insignia metal
tag that indicates that he was a proud
tax payer attached to its motor
guide, a couple of other men who could
not pay their ‘head tax’ have had to
forcibly give the hands of their
daughters out in marriage to avoid
imprisonment since they are unable to
pay their tax. Those who had no female
children and had no money relocated on
permanent bases to their farms to avoid
This is no
story; there is a song to that effect in
my part of the world. The song goes thus
‘‘Egho uhunmon lada muvba, livare
rovbi vba munose, vbase agbon’’.
When translated, it means literarily
that those – the very poor – who were
arrested for ‘head tax’ invasion have
been made to pay through their nose
after the sales of their daughters under
a tensed and highly dehumanized
As far as
I’m concerned the only escape route,
respite and channel of insightful hope
for a self-afflicting nation as Nigeria
and Edo is to respect the laws of the
land, including that of taxation.
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