Abia state governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has cautioned that henceforth, only properly identified staff of the Abia State Internal Revenue Service, in partnership with the state’s global consultant on IGR, CSDC, have the authority to collect revenue due to the state and local governments.
This was the outcome of the meeting between the Governor and key stakeholders in the internally generated revenue collection chain held on Monday, July 9, 2018.
In a statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, the governor also directed that approved revenue collected on behalf of local governments are to be remitted to them by the state revenue collection agency after monthly reconciliation, warning that any policeman or security agent attached to a revenue collection team, other than the State Internal Revenue Service, is to be arrested and prosecuted for engaging in illegal duties.
The statement reads; “The state government wishes to reiterate its decision to use recognized Trade Unions such as ASMATA, NURTW, ASATOA, Association of Importers et al to enforce the collection of Flying Revenue from their members. Executives of the concerned associations are to contact the office of the Chairman of the Abia State Internal Revenue Service to obtain approved list of payable revenue.
“As much as possible, flying revenue can be collected through recognized unions and trade associations in the state to ensure that registered members pay as and when due.
“All corporate organizations operating in the state are to ensure that PAYE and other Taxes are remitted to the government as and when due or face punitive action and sanctions as provided in law.
“Any policeman or security agent attached to a revenue collection team, other than the State Internal Revenue Service, is to be arrested and prosecuted for engaging in illegal duties” he said.
The governor in the statement also advised residents to make revenue payments only to the Abia Internal Revenue Service approved bank accounts. “All revenue payments are to be made to the designated government accounts as will be published by the State Internal Revenue Service Agency.
“No Ministry, Department and Agency (MDA) of the state is authorized to issue revenue collection license or permit to any individual or group from henceforth.
“All revenue collection licenses or permits previously issued by MDAs are by this announcement nullified.
“Local government authorities are also expected to withdraw all revenue collection permits issued to agents with immediate effect”.
Abia Government also assured citizens and residents that with these decisions reached, the era of multiple taxation and harassment of citizens by sundry persons is over in the State.
The state also expressed optimism that revenue leakages within the state will be minimized and soon become a thing of the past with the full deployment of the new computerized collection system.
It urged citizens to avoid patronizing fake revenue collection agents and report suspects to the nearest police station.