As the first quarter of 2021 is wrapping up already, the government across tiers is taking out the time to watch its revenue drive in order to meet both quarterly and yearly projections. In the case of Cross River, it has been the discovery of massive loopholes in the tax administration as illegal tax collectors continue to rise.
This recent discovery was brought to public knowledge by the Chairman of the Cross River State Anti-Tax Agency, Bishop Emmah Isong, who revealed that these illegal revenue collectors take delight in extorting petty traders, tricycle riders, and cab drivers especially in Calabar and other parts of the state.
As if extortion isn’t enough, the revelation also has it that the categories of individuals under the net of these illegal revenue collectors are being daily harassed, intimidated, and manhandled by their captors in the guise of representatives of the state’s government.
The above was brought to the limelight with the recently reported case of a tragic incident, which occurred on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, at the Calabar municipal in which one Chuks (a cab driver) in a trending video was dehumanised by an illicit tax operator in Calabar is despicable.
Below the full statement of the Cross River State Anti-Tax Agency
“The Anti-Tax Agency wishes to express reservations on the ongoing activities of some illegal tax operators in the state.
“It is worrisome that despite the good intentions of Governor Ben Ayade to make life more meaningful for the poor Cross Riverians, who are daily struggling to eke out a living, some unpatriotic revenue collectors have continued to exploit the poor market women, petty traders, taxi and keke drivers under the guise of generating revenue for the state.”
“It is more worrisome that even after the agency has had a series of meetings with relevant agencies of government on the modus operandi of tax and levies’ collection, there appear to be infractions on the part of some agencies. And this is causing some untold hardship to small-scale business owners, petty traders, and taxi drivers alike.