We Haven’t Authorized Any PG, Igwe, to Collect Revenue, Anambra Govt Insists

Collect Revenue

Anambra State Government has made it clear that it has not authorized any president-general, traditional ruler, market union or estate leadership to collect any form of revenue on its behalf.

The Chairman of the State Internal Revenue Service, AIRS, Richard Madiebo made the disclosure during a media chat with select journalists in Awka, Anambra State Capital.

The clarification became necessary following the practice in many communities where town unions, youth groups and other authorities constitute themselves into revenue agents and collect development levies and other monies accruable to government.

Investigations by TNC revealed that the practice is most common in communities such as Onitsha, Nkpor, Oba, Obosi, Nkwelle, Mgbakwu, Isuaniocha among other communities.

This is coming as the state battles the worrisome resurgence of activities of agberos and illegal revenue collectors across parts of the state.

In most of the communities, the incidence of touting has seriously increased, threatening business and transport activities.

According to the AIRS boss, Madiebo, the situation where community leaderships constitute themselves into authorities, collecting all kinds of government revenue can no longer be tolerated.

He explained that the media chat was to intimate the media practitioners on the efforts of the government towards addressing the incidence of touts.

“The session is to let the people in on some of the happenings in Anambra state.

“The meeting is one of the strategies deployed by the state government through the AIRS, to address the seeming resurgence of agberos everywhere.  In many communities, agberos have been taken over. A lot of people have constituted enforcement teams and those parading themselves are not from government.

“The authorized enforcement teams of government are being reformed to get the best out of them.

“This meeting is therefore to intimate the public on how government revenue is to be paid, so that we can get the state working as regards the revenue,” he said.

He made it clear that the government has not given any revenue collection window to anyone, noting that anyone parading themselves as revenue collectors for the state are criminals.

“After the meeting we had when we auctioned the revenue windows, we agreed with the bidders on various aspects. But later we realized that all the agreements were violated and that was when Governor Chukwuma Soludo suspended those windows.
“Therefore, they remain suspended until the windows are lifted. Then the people will be duly communicated,” he said.

He made it clear that all government revenues are to be made digitally, with digital receipts for authentication received, warning that anyone collecting monies outside these stipulated means is a criminal.

“We are intensifying enforcement and arresting touts.

“But our people must also help us by doing the right things. This include paying through the right channels and that is digitally.

“After the payments, the payer must obtain digital receipts which will have transaction codes and QR codes for authentication.

“We have enforcement agents that have been sanctioned by the government for revenue purposes which include Ocha brigade, ANJET, ATMA, VIOs.

“Government has not empowered any individuals, town unions, market unions, estate leaderships to enforce payments,” he concluded.

On her part, the State Commissioner for Transport, Patricia Igwebuike Commissioner for transport revealed that the Windows for heavy duty trucks have been suspended for now and the government is working with the operators behind the scene, to fashion out better ways to run the payments.


She said; “We have discovered that Illegal cartels are behind the illegal collections and we want to warn that once we arrest anyone, they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

“The revenue courts will soon become fully operational and this will help make the fight against touts more effective.

“Communities collecting these revenues should officially inform the government so that government can hands off any development efforts in their locations so that they can manage their monies and use for their own good.”

On parks management, the commissioner said they are engaging private parks owners to agree on uniform levies for operators to pay, so as to avoid arbitrary fees at the parks.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Retired Air Vice Marshal Ben Chiobi noted that due to the challenges of finance experienced across board, the state government is looking at ways to internally mop up revenue, urging the people to see themselves as critical partners with government in the fight against touts.

On his part, the Managing Director, Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra, OCHA brigade, Celestine Anere, said the problem of prosecution has been with the judiciary and the slow pace of prosecution, regretting that most times when touts are arrested, they come out before you know it.

He warned that the ban on union activities have not been lifted and anyone still running unions run the risk of being arrested.

Anere also revealed that public parks have not been handed over to anyone but are being managed by government through the ministry of transport.

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