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35 illegal tax collectors face prosecution in Benue

The acting chairman of the Benue State Internal Revenue Service, Emmanuel Agena, has said that 35 people who engage in illegal tax collection in the state are facing prosecution.

He stated that the agency is targeting to generate over N16bn in 2024.

The BIRS acting boss disclosed this on Monday while speaking with journalists in Makurdi, the state capital, adding that in 2023, the board surpassed its N14bn target.

Agena lamented the activities of illegal tax collectors in the state, noting that most of them have the backing of prominent individuals.

He said that under his watch, the era of patronising politicians has become history.

The BIRS boss further frowned at the recent incident where a truck conveying palliatives from Adamawa to Anambra State was hijacked by some youths in Aliade, Gwer East.

He said, “A truck was intercepted and the driver beaten while the windscreen of the vehicle broken and over N200,000 was stolen. Three persons have been arrested and are in police custody. They will be moved to DSS for a thorough investigation.

“Our aim is to flush out or reduce illegal tax collectors to the barest minimum. Already, 35 people who engaged in illegal tax collection were arrested and are facing prosecution.

“This has been a big challenge. We have constituted a team headed by a director of tax collection. Prominent people in the state are involved in encouraging these boys.

“We also plan to recover over N5.6bn from ground rent. We are liaising with the Ministry of Land towards this direction.”

He added that the firm engaged the services of an ICT company to aid the collection of revenue.

“They are paid a commission. The company has engaged over 250 staff members who have been trained and given Point of Sales to collect revenue.

“Taxation is about confidence. Our work now is easy. Taxpayers are willing to pay because the people are seeing what the government is doing,” he added.

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