Edo revenue collector caught with a machete embarrassing — Activist…says most tax collectors, vigilante members have ‘criminal records’

Edo revenue collector caught with a machete embarrassing — Activist…says most tax collectors, vigilante members have ‘criminal records’

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A human right activist, Chief Patrick Eholor has reacted to a video footage of a revenue collector caught with a machete in Oredo Local Council of Edo State.

A REVENUE COLLECTOR CAUGHT WITH A MACHETE ON SECOND EAST CIRCULAR ROAD IN BENIN

The unnamed revenue decked in a approved vent by Oredo Local Government revenue collector was caught in a video around Second East Circular road last week.

Eholor who made the allegation while fielding questions from journalists in Benin City, the State Capital, described the incident as an embarrassment to the Government.

The activist clarified that he is not against governor Godwin Obaseki youth empowerment programmes for unemployed youths in the State, but there is need for a thorough background check for vigilante members and those assigned to collect revenue for the Government.

“A situation whereby a thug who claim to be a revenue collector holds a machete to collect revenue on behalf of the State Government, is unacceptable.

“Is that video of a thug with a machete is embarrassing to this Government?

“There are many things that are wrong with our value system. There are a lot of areas these Government officials have wronged us. After they are elected, they play God, but, before they are election, their simplicity is immeasurable.

“So, I do not know why the Government of Edo State enlisted people that were not profiled, people that you did not have their mugshot, fingerprints or background as to whether they are rapists or paedophiles among them before recruiting them into vigilante or revenue collectors for the Government. You gave them cutlasses, rifles and pump action guns to start terrorising your Citizens and harassing us.

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“I am not against Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki in providing jobs for them. But the Government carryout a background check for all of them”, he advised.

Eholor, founder of One Love Foundation alleged that some revenue collectors and vigilante members in the State have criminal records.

According to him, “Most these guys called vigilante and revenue collectors have criminal records. I say that authoritatively because I recognise some of these people. I saw some of them when I use to visit the prisons. For a number of years, I assisted and mentored prisons inmates.

“I also gave scholarships to some of them to go to school. But I am not against their empowerment”, he said.

Meanwhile, Governor Godwin Obaseki has said his Government is determined to revolutionise the state’s tax administration and improve its revenue generation systems so as to ensure the delivery of the government’s promise of making Edo great again.

He disclosed this during the flag-off of a 5-day training workshop for 200 Tax Relationship Managers and Officers at the Government House in Benin City.

The newly appointed revenue collectors will ensure that tax assessments generated are effectively served to taxpayers across the state’s 18 Local Government Councils, ensuring that the assessments are acceptable and payments made accordingly.

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He also said the programme, tagged ‘Project Reset’ is a new and improved approach to tax administration in Edo State, noting that those trained will help the State in data and information collection for adequate economic planning.

Obaseki said: “We are resetting the economic landscape of Edo State; we had about 1,000 enumerators go round to help us collect data across the State.

“They are helping us collect information and data for economic planning. These people are beyond revenue collectors or revenue agents alone; they have a lot of information and technology to help the Government know what is going on, what is to be done, the pressures on people and the Communities.

“This is important so that we can bring more people into the tax net. The project is unique as I am not sure that there is any other State in Nigeria that is doing this today. It is about citizens’ participation; their existence is not only in revenue collection but also to help the government get feedback on how to improve the lives of the people”, he said.

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