By Pamela Eboh
Anambra State Government has warned that henceforth any traditional ruler, presidents-general or community leaders that get involved in revenue diversions would be arrested and prosecuted.
Government frowned at a situation where touts and other revenue scavengers would be arrested and kept in custody and traditional rulers and the like in the communities would make phone calls demanding their immediate release on the ground that the suspects are their boys.
Revealing this at a press conference held at This was the bone of contention at a press conference held at the Revenue House in Awka, the Chairman of the Anambra State Internal Revenue Service Mr. Richard Madiebo said that government would no longer tolerate criminality by proxy.
He said that all IGR must be remitted into government coffers and not private accounts of traditional rulers, PGs and other community leaders.
Madiebo in the company of other top government functionaries reiterated the fact that government had long proscribed all forms of touting in the state.
While expressing concern on the resurgence of revenue touts across the state, the Chairman raised the issue of people laying claim to government leasing some revenue windows to them, describing it as blatant lies.
Madiebo added, “Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo had suspended all revenue windows in the interim because of noticeable significant abuses of such windows as people became law onto themselves.
“A lot of groups had turned themselves into enforcement teams enforcing orders that were not from government. The enforcement architecture of government had been put in place and the enforcement teams sanctioned by government to collect revenues are Ochabrigade, ANJET, ARTMA and VIOs for motor vehicles.”
Mabiebo further emphasized that government had not empowered local governments, communities and private individuals to form enforcement teams to start taking money from people.
He however noted that government agents were working assiduously to fish the culprits out.
On her part, the State Commissioner for Transport, Mrs. Patricia Igwebuike, stressed that every commercial bus operator should be enumerated to enable them know the exact amount payable to government every month ading that all payments are made digitally and not by cash transaction.
Igwebuike noted that the state revenue courts would soon be operational, even as she pointed out that traditional rulers and presidents-general had some sort of baptism they gave to illegal revenue collections across the state.
The Transport Commissioner reminded the traditional rulers and PGs that it is the revenue generated that government deployed in building roads as well as other social amenities in their respective communities.