A pressure and non-profit Group, the Benue Advocate for Good Governance has called on the Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia to immediately launch an investigation into the activities of the Benue State Inland Revenue Service (BIRS) alleging large scale illegal tax activities in some locations in the state.
In an open letter signed by the duo Tersoo Abagi and Inelagwu Adakole for the group and addressed the Governor, the Group alleged that “touts are still collecting revenue on behalf of BIRS office with connivance of some BIRS staff” adding that some of the collectors are not staff of the revenue agency.
They further alleged that they “discovered that receipts are been reprinted and sold with the money going to private pockets. This is going on especially at Zaki Biam, Katsina-ala, Ugba and Vandeikya check points.”
The Group noted that the impacts of these activities “has negative impact on the state image and the eruption of leakages, high level diversion of state revenue into private pockets resulting to a decline of revenue generation for the state.” “Judging from the dilapidated income of the state at a time we are in dare need of funds to function any act of revenue diversion and sabotage should be totally discouraged and frowned at” the group said.
The Group recommended that: There should be a wholistic Overhaul of the Board of internal revenue services; The governor as a matter of urgency shop for a competent, reliable and dependable resource personality who is vast in forensic auditing and has a considerable knowledge of modern techniques of revenue generation as a possible replacement; and the display of incompetence by the acting chairman should be replaced with immediate effect for the overall good of the state.”
The Group also indicated that “based on a comparative analysis the acting chairman cannot and will never reach the least amount his predecessor ever generated, and we urge you to compare what he has so far generated since assumption of office as the acting chairman and see for yourself if we are being irrational here.”
This, “we urge you to use your good office to investigate the activitties a BIRS” the Group called.