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Era of chasing drivers with weapons over in Anambra – Revenue firm



By Praise Chinecherem

No fewer than 300 touts popularly known as agboro have been rehabilitated and reintegrated into the haulage tax drive for improved Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the Anambra State government.

The Project manager, Bigly Oil and Gas Services, Chukwuma Nwabuikwu who disclosed this at a press conference, said the firm in partnership with Anambra State internal Revenue Services (AiRS) was to collect statewide haulage tax on behalf of government.

He said the touts known to constitute nuisance in the streets of the state has been taken off the roads, trained, transformed and utilized to work for the state government in the business of revenue collection.

He however warned that revenue collectors found with hard drugs, cigarette or drinking while on duty would not only be fired, but handed over to security agents for prosecution.

He said, “We’re IGR authorized partner for AIRS to collect haulage tax, comprising the upstream and downstream tax revenue collection for the government.

“We got our authority letter on September 1, but commenced tax collection via technology on September 26. We started with recruitment of men and women to be on the road for the assignment.

“We’ve been mandated by the Soludo’s administration to win back the agboro population. The idea is to expunge the tag agboro, rehabilitate and reintegrate them into the system so they can be gainfully employed by government.

“We’re working tirelessly, with utmost civility to rebrand and retrain our personnel so as to uptimize revenue collection system through use of technology.

“The recruitment form for our field agents were properly vetted and scrutinized by the special adviser to the Governor on security matters.

“People you call touts and agboro are now revenue field officers and tax clerks who are deployed to different revenue pits to collect haulage tax after being briefed on rules of engagement.

“Our staff are always properly kitted at their duty post. The era of fighting drivers, breaking side-mirrors, removing wipers or impounding goods from defaulting driver or vehicle is completely over under our operations.

“We warn our staff not to engage in any violent attacks, including use of sticks on drivers, no matter the level of provocation.

“Any defaulter will be suspended without pay or outright sack. Those caught with hard drugs, cigarette or drinking while on duty, will not only be fired, but handed over to security agents for prosecution.”

Nwabuikwu further revealed that the firm had identified 60 revenue hubs in markets and parks across the state with officials deployed to man the hubs.

“Our revenue pit secretaries who are graduates will man those hubs and collect tax on behalf of government. We have sinegies indicating where drivers are to slow down and make payments electronically.

“We’ve also set up our compliance quality control team to cover the three senatorial districts in the state, with vehicles and personnel deployed to monitor the districts,” he added.

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