By Our Reporter
No fewer than ten persons suspected to be diverting government revenue has been arrested by the enforcement team of Anambra State Internal Revenue Service, AIRS as the agency flags off the sale of 2023 emblem at Onitsha on Thursday.
The Executive Director, Operations of the Service, Dr Christian Madubuko who flagged off the exercise on behalf of the Acting Chairman assured commercial transporters in the state of his commitment towards ensuring seamless partnership between government and the transporters regarding revenue generation..
The 2023 state and local government consolidated emblems are to be purchased by commercial vehicles and tricycle drivers within Anambra State according to Dr Madubuko.
Speaking while addressing the officials recruited for the success of the sale, Dr Madubuko said that such assignment posses danger as some may try re-printing another emblem in disguise, saying that their core mandate is to enthrone sanity and not to constitute problems associated with selling above government price.
He stated that the emblem is to sell at five thousand naira only at the office, adding that defaulters would be made to pay the sum of twelve thousand naira if caught during enforcement considering the massive logistics usually deployed for enforcement operations.
He noted that the agency will monitor designated workers to ensure they did not go against the rule noting that legal action awaits anyone of them found wanting for any form of complicity in the line of duty.
Madubuko urged the newly constituted agents to prioritize revenue generation in order to assist government in carrying out tasks before the authorities and shun the temptation of detaining / bullying commuters or even selling emblems to people outside the target group.
Soon after the official flag off, the Operations Unit, carried out revenue drive at Onitsha and environs as well as Omasi- Adani-Uzo Uwani road in Ayamelum where they arrested about ten persons suspected for diversion of revenue and bullying drivers plying the road.
The suspects according to their confessions were employed by notable individuals in the state to work for them despite the present administration’s warning against such activity.
Two of the drivers, Mr Chukwunonso Okeji and Mr Cosmos Okechi said that they are facing difficulties on the road as they are forced to buy all manner of papers and emblems costing at least one thousand and if they refuse, their buses will be seized and destroyed
When interviewed, one of the suspects, Mr Willie Anozie from Ogbaru, said he is the leader of Ogbaru Local Government Volunteer Taskforce that enforces against extortion but was surprised when someone they punished for extorting from others fingered him as being involved in shady deals.
The others caught at Omasi in Ayamelum, Mr Ifunanya Moses revealed that one Mr Friday whom he works for told him that the Chairman of the Council Area and the central vigilante of the area who they give between four to five thousand naira daily were all involved.