By Ikeugonna Eleke
The Anambra State governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, has been charged to curb revenue leakages in the state and also ensure that revenue thieves are kept in check.
A human rights lawyer, Mr Nnalue Peters, told journalists in Awka that despite the efforts to increase the state’s earning through internally generated revenue, some revenue racketeers still fed fat on the finances of the state.
He also added that most residents of Anambra State were being over taxed by revenue collectors, urging the governor not to look away, as the pains of the people were high.
Peters said: ‘Before now, Anambra had been subjected to all forms of wreck, including overpayments, double taxation, revenue leakages, and all manner of financial misconducts that come with mismanagement of revenue.
‘As times are hard, the government is cutting some of the revenues, taking into consideration the economic hardship faced by the people. This move is laudable as it shows the government’s commitment to the welfare of the masses.
‘However, some revenue agencies which have been in power before the coming of Soludo are still diverting funds and over taxing the people. These are the areas the governor should look towards.
‘One of the companies which promised to build vehicle test centres in all the 21 local governments of the state, has only built two centres in Awka and Nkpor and collects a whopping 52% of all road-worthiness certificate revenues. Such an arrangement leaves room for exploitation and financial misconduct which the government needs to address urgently,’ Peter said.
The lawyer, who said he had previously complained about exploitation of individuals in the state, urged Soludo to sanitize the system and stop government revenues from being diverted into private pockets, or making the people suffer multiple taxation because of the greed of such revenue agents.