By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA—ABIA State deputy governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu has warned businessmen in the state to make use of government approved bank accounts to pay revenue and stop patronizing touts.
Oko Chukwu, who stated this in an interview with Vanguard while reacting to complaints of multiple taxation by businessmen in the state, explained that the government had introduced a comprehensive demand notice where all taxes and levies payable and the revenue accounts in which they can be paid into, are listed.
He disclosed that the state government had also brought in technology and automation to revenue collection in the state, and attributed the problem of multiple taxation to “individuals and companies’ refusal to heed government’s directives to only pay through approved revenue accounts.”
The deputy governor stated that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu had done a lot to encourage investors and boost trade and commerce in the state and urged businessmen to take advantage of the government’s efforts to grow their businesses.
“I assure you that there is nothing like multiple taxation in Abia, the problem has been that individuals and corporate bodies have refused to play their roles. Taxes and levies have been streamlined; any individual or organization knows what they are expected to pay. From the day this government assumed office, we brought in technology and automation to revenue collection in the state. We also brought comprehensive demand notice where all the revenue a company or individual is expected to pay annually.
“What this means is that every individual or organization, gets all taxes and levies they are supposed to pay. Once this demand notice is handed over to you, you go ahead and make your payment through publicized government IGR accounts, not through any individual. The problem we have is that people have refused to heed government directives not to pay revenue through any individual. When you make payment through the bank, this will eliminate touts in the system.
“People prefer paying through touts. The issues of multiple taxation and touting are not being carried out by government agencies. The problem is the inability of the people to heed government directives on revenue payment. If any person or group comes to you to pay revenue, you must insist on paying through the bank. There are several touts moving in buses harassing individuals and corporate bodies, people must resist and report them to the Police. A lot of such illegal revenue agents have been arrested and prosecuted. Government has streamlined the issue of revenue payment, but it is unfortunate that with all these sensitization and publicity, people still pay to the wrong hands. People must be willing to give information on the illegal people collecting revenue.”