Stakeholders in Benue State have asked the the State Government through the Executive Council to, without delay, send an amendment of the state revenue law to the State House of Assembly to plug the loopholes in the existing law that have left gaps for leakages.

This was part of resolutions reached at the end of revenue generation stakeholders meeting held in Government House, Makurdi, on Tuesday.

Speaking earlier at the meeting, Governor Samuel Ortom, harped on the dire need for the State to improve on its Revenue Generation.

Ortom had expressed dismay at the rate at which revenue meant for the State government is being diverted through illegal collections, multiple taxation by several unapproved groups among others.

After an exhaustive deliberations at the meeting, stakeholders resolved it was imperative to amend the existing law to put an end to leakages and allow for proper collection.

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In a communique issued at the end of the meeting, stakeholders stated that all revenues collected by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) must be paid in to the State Consolidated Revenue Fund according to the law.

They also insisted that Local Government Chairmen must desist henceforth from multiple taxations in their council areas, thereby discouraging traders from coming into Benue State to buy produce which has led to waste and decline in internally generated revenue (IGR) base of the State.

They also resolved that “some MDAs who have formed the habit of diverting monies collected from PAYE should desist from this unwholesome practice as it contravenes the State revenue generation laws.

“That illegal revenue collection checkpoints should be dismantled forthwith as any person or group of persons caught operating such illegal revenue collection checkpoints shall be punished.

“That the Office of the Secretary of the State Government (SSG) should convene a meeting between the Board of Internal Revenue Service (BIRS) and Local Government Chairmen to know the revenue items accruing to local Government and State in order to streamline the collection of same.

The communique signed by the Secretary to the state government, Prof. Anthony Ijohor, SAN, Speaker Benue state House of Assembly, Titus Uba and Governor Samuel Ortom stated that “Any person irrespective of how highly placed you may be who violates the Revenue Law shall be sanctioned.”