Benue revenue consultants petition IGP over harassment, destruction of revenue offices
Forum of revenue consultants to Benue State government has issued a 24-hour ultimatum to Inspector General of Police (IGP) to stop its X- Squad from harassing revenue collection agents, arresting and destroying of revenue offices in the state.
Briefing journalists in Makurdi, President of the Revenue Consultants’ Forum, Chief John Akpetashi, said consequent to the continuous harassment of revenue officers by the force, the state Board of Internal Revenue Service, (BIRS) has suffered over N500m damages.
Akpetashi alleged that the police X-Squad has conspired with officials of Nigerian Association of Agricultural Products Dealers, as well as the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to unlawfully collect between N2, 000 to N3, 000 as produce from individuals on highways, depending on the category.
He lamented that the situation has drastically affected the state’s IGR, stressing that the state’s major strength of IGR lies in agriculture and forestry products and called for a stop.
He also urged the Minister of Agriculture to redirect men of Quarantine services and other agents of his ministry charged with the responsibility of surveillance and disease control to do their professional jobs and stop collecting revenue on highways.
The Chairman of BIRS, Mrs. Mimi Orubibi, who was not ready to speak much on the issue at the time of filing this report, however, confirmed that the consultants were engaged by the board to assist in the collection of revenue in the state.
But reacting, the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Bashir Makama told journalists that the command was yet to receive any report or petition of any nature relating to the activities of Operation X-Squad team in the state.
He said no police officer was mandated to get involved in revenue collection at check points across the state, stressing that the X-Squad was only mandated to dismount all illegal revenue check points in the state.