Illegal revenue collectors caused loss of close to N5bn monthly says Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, says the state government has been losing between N3bn and N5bn to the illegal revenue collectors operating across the state.
He said this on Monday while marking the commencement of a policy to eradicate duplicity of haulage revenue collection held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta.
The governor expressed worry that the state had lost a lot of revenue that should accrue to it to illegal revenue collectors who had printed their own tickets/stickers and issuing them to unsuspecting haulage operators and traders on the roads.
Amosun stated that with the commencement of the harmonisation of the haulage revenue collection, a task force had been established to arrest any illegal toll collectors, who would be prosecuted in court.
He noted that the new policy would not only block leakages but would also safeguard taxpayers from losing their hard-earned money to illegal toll collectors.
The governor said, “The new policy document will put in place several measures including issuance of coded pre-numbered tickets to be paid for upfront by tax consultants and collectors.
“There will also be printed security and uniform tickets and stickers for payers and setting up of formidable task force to monitor the process and toll points for results.
“There will be provision of sign posts at approved toll points and control posts.”
He stated that the policy was not a witch-hunt or meant to deprive anyone of legitimate means of livelihood but to ensure that taxpayers got value for their money and government was not short-changed by those who had taken advantage of the existing haphazard toll collection method.
Amosun explained that the 2018 budget, which had a large allocation for capital expenditure, was an indication that his administration was development-oriented, and promised to complete all ongoing projects across the state.
The commissioners for Commerce and Industry, Chief Bimbo Ashiru; Environment, Bolaji Oyeleye; and Forestry, Chief Kola Lawal, also called on stakeholders to embrace the new policy in order to boost the revenue of the state.
The Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Adewale Oshinowo, said prior to the harmonisation of haulage revenue, collection from that stream was haphazard, leading to loss of huge revenue to the state.
Oshinowo stated that to put an end to the crude method of haulage revenue collection, a technical committee, comprising the officials of the ministries of Finance, Commerce, and Industry, Agriculture, Forestry, and Environment, was set up.
He explained that the committee designed the modern way of collecting the revenue.
The commissioner said with the policy, revenue from agricultural produce, planks and waste products, among others, would all be paid at once at any of the 63 newly-approved points across the state.
Oshinowo added that revenue consultants or agents, collaborating with the relevant ministries, would buy harmonised tickets from selected banks and pay upfront to the government’s purse based on the targets or benchmark set for them.
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