BIRS Boss, Atser Vows To Increase Benue IGR
From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi
The Acting Chairman of the Benue Internal Revenue Service (BIRS), Mr. Terzungwe Atser has vowed to step up the Internally Generated Revenue of the State to beat past records.
He said, all tax leakages will be checked and staff of the agency would be encouraged to be patriotic and prudent in handling State’s funds.
Speaking in Abuja at the weekend during a meeting of OnTiv Professionals Association Abuja which, he is also a member, Mr. Atser disclosed that he has ordered the dismantling of over 360 illegal check points within the State where farmers and traders were subjected to all forms of money collection in the name of tax on his assumption of duty.
The Benue Chief Collector assured that his management would beat past records of revenue collection for the government if staff and all other stakeholders also show dedication and committement.
“We found this very absurd and so curious too because BIRS has only 11 produce inspection points while there were over 360 other check points which do not belong to us and we are the sole revenue collection authority for the state.
“At these multiple check points, they use all kinds of receipts to extort money from traders and farmers in the name of BIRS while the money do not enter government treasury”, he said.
The government according to him stands to benefit more as revenue generated would be utilized for the provision of social amenities and the welfare of the citizens would be adequately attended to if the new tax policies are implemented.
He noted with regret that “markets were dying, business were crumbling and the level of disenchantment among citizens of the state became so obvious that they would revolt one day if the issues were not addressed”.
“We have directed that all those illegal road blocks should be removed. We have also held meetings with the security operatives in the state to request for their support in dismantling those road blocks and general compliance”, he stated.
According to him, it is unprofessional and unlawful to extort money from tax payers when they should be given proper sensitization on the need to pay their taxes in accordance with the laws.
He disclosed that BIRS would be re-branded by it’s operations and it’s relationships with tax payers would be strengthened.
To further ensure compliance with the new order, the BiRS chairman said, he has plans to meet with the Tor Tiv, the Och’Idoma as well as other traditional rulers across the State to inform them about the new policy of the present tax administration.
According to him, they are expected to communicate with their subjects particuarly those involved in sabotaging the economy of Benue.
The Acting Executive Chairman, in a statement signed by his Special Assistant (Media and Publicity), Dennis Mernyi, further stated that the decision of the management of BIRS to crash to 50 percent tariff on all taxable items in the state as well as terminate contracts to all tax agents was to return the state tax agency to the implementation of tax laws for the good of the state.