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FIRS, Police Meet to Stop Illegal Fees Levies at Road Blocks

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Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja

The Chairman of the Joint Tax Board (JTB), Mr. Tunde Fowler has called for collaboration between the Nigeria Police Force and various tax authorities to stem collection of illegal fees and levies at road blocks.

He spoke when he led a delegation of some members of the JTB on a courtesy call on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase.

In a release signed by Secretary to JTB, Mohammed Lawal Abubakar, Mr. Fowler emphasized that the existing working relationship between the JTB and the Police needs to be further strengthened given some challenges encountered in our tax system, especially on illegal taxes and levies across the country.

Unauthorized persons mount road blocks, for purpose of collecting revenue and selling of emblems or stickers to motorists on the highways, Fowler noted.

He also noted that activities of such people are not only counter productive but affect development of the nation’s tax system. He therefore called on the IGP to continue to support the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the State Boards of Internal Revenue Service in their operations.

Said the Chairman: “It is clear that what is needed now is collaboration and cooperation among stakeholders, particularly the Nigeria Police Force, members of JTB to stem the tide of multiple taxation, which impedes voluntary compliance.

In his response, Arase expressed his appreciation for the courtesy call and assured the delegation of the support of the Police Force in providing the needed security for revenue officers across the federation.

He also informed the JTB members that he had directed all Police Commands nationwide to apprehend and prosecute any person or group of persons involved in mounting illegal road blocks for purpose of revenue collection.

The IG stressed: I ve told my men that if a Commissioner of Police (CP) allows his jurisdiction to be used, I will hold such accountable. Be rest assured I will do that.

To this end, he gave the Police Compliant Response Unit Phone numbers; 0805700001 and 0805700002 for the general public to call and report mounting of road blocks and illegal collection of taxes and levies.

Reemphasizing the police support for tax authorities to achieve optimum revenue collection, Arase commended Mr. President for appointing Fowler as the Executive Chairman of FIRS, describing it as a step in the right direction.

Other areas of collaboration among the JTB members and the Police, such as training and exchange of information were also identified and agreed it would be explored appropriately.

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