Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Anambra State Ministry of Trade and Commerce, Markets and Wealth Creation has expressed its avowed commitment to clamp down on revenue agents who print and issue fake government receipts to collect revenue on behalf of the state government.
The state Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Markets and Wealth Creation, Dr. Christian Madubuko, stated this on Thursday in Awka while informing journalists of the ministry’s stance to fish out impersonators issuing fake receipts in Onitsha, Nnewi and other cities with major markets across Anambra.
He added that upon assumption of office, he took inventory of the markets in the state and discovered that fraudulent activities in revenue collection were the order of the day.
According to him, fake revenue collectors were feeding fat from the state pocket, noting that what is due to the state government was being collected by many individuals and paid into private accounts without
remittance to state coffers.
Madubuko maintained that you see them buying lands at the expense of the government, building houses, filling stations everywhere in the state, stressing that it is a challenge government must surmount if the state must make any meaningful progress in its internally-generated revenue drive.
The commissioner regretted that people entrusted to collect government revenues were cheating the government on daily basis pointing out that Anambra state would have been one of the richest states in the country if revenue agents were sincere to the state government.
He said one of the market leaders was sacked for printing fake receipts and pocketing government revenue, stressing that it was the usual practice prior to the advent of Governor Willie Obiano’s administration in Anambra state.
Though he emphasized that the state government would deploy federal allocations to capital projects while the state’s IGR would be channeled to aid federal allocations, the activities of fraudulent revenue agents hampered government policies and programmes for the citizenry.
Madubuko, who stated that the ministry had embarked on critical education of traders and markets in the state to ascertain the legality and authenticity of revenue collectors before making payments, noted that the ministry would introduce scientific methods in revenue collection to address shortcomings and anomalies in the process.