From Scholastica Hir, Makurdi

A truck conveying palliatives from Adamawa to Anambra State was, few days back, hijacked by some youths in Aliade, Gwer East Local Government Area, (LGA), of the state.

The acting Chairman, Benue State Internal Revenue Services, (BIRS), Emmanuel Agena, disclosed this on Monday while speaking with newsmen in his office in Makurdi.

Agenda who frowned at the incident said he, “the truck was intercepted and the driver beaten while the windscreen of the vehicle was broken and over N200,000 stolen.”

According to him, “three persons have been arrested in connection with the incident and are in police custody. They will be moved to the DSS for thorough investigation.”

Mr. Agena who decried the activities of illegal tax collectors in the state, said most of them are backed by very prominent individuals who were sponsoring them to carry out their illegal activities.

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He said that 35 persons have already been arrested for engaging in such illegal revenue collection and have been arraigned in court.

“Our aim to flush out or reduce illegal tax collectors to the barest minimum. Dealing with illegal tax operators has been a big challenge. We have constituted a team headed by director of Tax collection. Prominent people in the State are involved in encouraging these boys. They must know that the time of patronizing politicians is over,” he said.

The BIRS boss, who stated that state government surpassed its N14 billion revenue target for 2023, said it has the target to generate over N16 billion as internally generated revenue for 2024.

“We also plan to recover over 5.6 billion from ground rent. We are liaising with the Ministry of Land towards this direction.

“Taxation is about confidence. Our work now is easy because tax payers are willing to pay because the people are seeing what government is doing,” Agena said.