About 50 per cent of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) accruable to the Anambra government is lost to leakages and activities of revenue thieves.
Dr Christian Madubuko, Executive Director in charge of Operations at the Anambra Internal Revenue Service (AIRS), disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Wednesday.
Madubuko, who is the leader of AIRS revenue mobilisation team, said the state was making just about ₦2 billion monthly out of the ₦4 billion potential profile.
He said the government had discovered the diversion of state taxes through fraudulent configuration of a retail banking agent which had been blacklisted.
He said investigation was ongoing to identify the beneficiaries of the fraud with the aim of bringing them to book, adding that the Police, Department of State Services (DSS) and other intelligence agencies had swung into action.
Madubuko, who also said that no fewer than 20 illegal revenue collectors had been arrested and handed over to the Police, added that they had been making useful confessions that would lead to the apprehension of those they were working for.
The Executive Director, who attributed the sabotage to ‘enemies of government’, said the State Revenue Court had started sitting and all those found culpable would be prosecuted and convicted.
“The leakage we were having with the POS operators was a deliberate design by some internal people, we entered into agreement with, to consciously configure the system for diversion of revenue.
“The amount is humongous but generally, the government is supposed to be getting ₦4 billion from IGR monthly but we have been struggling to make about ₦2 billion or less.
“Everybody is now a revenue collector, the communities are involved, even the markets. The sad part is that they collect this money and put them into their private pockets.
“The digitised system of revenue collection, designed by Gov. Chukwuma Soludo, is still effective. We want to eliminate physical payment of taxes, these revenue thieves must go out of business, we will not allow them to frustrate this government,” he said.
Madubuko said the AIRS was working to maximise IGR collection without inflicting additional pain on the masses.
He expressed worry over the complaints of intimidation and extortion by some group of people under the guise of enforcing traffic laws.
“The complaints are everywhere, we are aware that some people are going about molesting the people they are supposed to be protecting.
“We will embark on training of these people and those who collect money from people and put them into their pockets will be arrested and prosecuted,” he added. (NAN)