Benue State to Prosecute 35 Illegal Tax Collectors

Benue State Map
Benue State MapGoogle

Emmanuel Agena, the acting chairman of the Benue State Internal Revenue Service, has announced that 35 individuals participating in illegal tax collection in the state are under prosecution, as the agency sets a target to generate over N16bn in 2024.

The acting boss of BIRS shared this information on Monday during a discussion with journalists in Makurdi, stating that the board had exceeded its N14bn target in 2023.

Expressing his concern, Agena criticized the actions of illegal tax collectors in the state, highlighting that a majority of them are backed by prominent individuals. He claimed that under his watch, the era of patronising politicians has become history.

Expressing disapproval, the BIRS boss highlighted the recent incident involving the hijacking of a truck carrying palliatives from Adamawa to Anambra State by youths in Aliade, Gwer East.

He said, “A truck was intercepted and the driver beaten while the windscreen of the vehicle broken and over N200,000 was stolen. Three persons have been arrested and are in police custody. They will be moved to DSS for a thorough investigation.

“Our aim is to flush out or reduce illegal tax collectors to the barest minimum. Already, 35 people who engaged in illegal tax collection were arrested and are facing prosecution.

“This has been a big challenge. We have constituted a team headed by a director of tax collection. Prominent people in the state are involved in encouraging these boys.

“We also plan to recover over N5.6bn from ground rent. We are liaising with the Ministry of Land towards this direction.”

He added that the firm engaged the services of an ICT company to aid the collection of revenue.

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