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Cabal pocketing Anambra government’s revenues- Ezeonwuka

* Says revenue collection in the State 'too crude for a digital age'

From RAY OZOJI, Awka

A chieftain of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and BoT member of the party, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, has decried the system of revenue collection in Anambra State, contending that revenue collection in the State is characterized by touting with hoodlums parading fake authority papers and capitalizing on such papers to forcibly extort money as tolls, levies and ticketing from both commercial and private motorists as well as traders and market women, including truck and wheel barrow pushers.

Speaking to newsmen in his  office at Rojenny Games village at Oba Idemili-South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Ezeonwuka described touting by hoodlums and miscreants who parade themselves as revenue collectors as a thorn in the flesh of the State, particularly in the commercial city of Onitsha, alleging that a cabal in the State has hijacked the revenue of the State using hoodlums to milk the State’s revenue.

He lamented that the hoodlums working for  the cabal have brought misfortune and untold hardship to Anambra State as the money the money they collect are channeled to private accounts of the cabal, lamenting that traders from neighbouring States like Delta, Enugu, Imo, Kogi, Abia, Ebonyi, Rivers, Cross River, Balyelsa and Akwa Ibom, among others, no longer come to Onitsha to either buy or sell goods because hoodlums molest residents and visitors alike with all sorts of ticketing and forcibly demand levies and tolls ranging from #500 to #10,000, most times without issuing any tickets.

Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka (Ogilisi Igbo), Chairman BoT, APGA

“This cabal has dealt Anambra revenue a huge blow. They rake millions of naira belonging to the State and convert the money into private investments such as building market plazas, hotels, housing estates and petrol filling stations while the State Government is struggling to raise money to pay salaries and execute development projects. This has to stop,” Ezeonwuka who is also known as Ogilisi Igbo, said.

The APGA Chieftain who is also a patron of Anambra State Market Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA) questioned the source of the authority papers issued to the revenue agents in the State  and called on Governor Willie Obiano to revoke such authority papers.

The Ogilisi Igbo decried the crude way of revenue collection in Anambra in a digital age and advocated the establishment of central revenue points at loading places, calling for total eradication of ticketing at highways, road junctions and bus -stops.

He, therefore, called on town unions, traders’ unions, drivers’ unions and revenue agents who designate boys for ticketing in Anambra State to stop that henceforth and establish a digital revenue collection point.

“The hoodlums ambush motorists, forcibly wave them down and jump into the vehicle like a monkey jumping on a tree. Such crude activities in the name of revenue collection have to stop. Anybody found waving motorists down in ambush for extortion has to be arrested by the anti-tout squad. Enough is enough,” he declared.

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