Imo hoteliers seek enforcement of ban on revenue consultants

The Imo Hoteliers Association has called on the state Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma, to enforce his ban on the use of revenue consultants to address the challenge of multiple taxation in the state

The Association’s Chief Servant, Mr Chima Chukwunyere, made the call while addressing newsmen on Monday in Owerri

Chukwunyere said the enforcement of the ban had become “necessary and long overdue “ to save hotels from further embarrassment from revenue touts parading as government’s revenue consultants.

He thanked the governor for ordering the arrest and prosecution of one of the touts, Mr Charles Okpala, who had hitherto used his position as a senior management officer of the state’s Internal Revenue Service to extort hoteliers in the guise of revenue collection.

The Chief Servant reviewed that following Okpala’s arrest and parade by the police, he has continued to harass unsuspecting hoteliers with fraudulent revenue charges and threats to shut down their facilities, even though his prosecution is ongoing in Court.

He therefore urged the governor to enforce the ban on the use of revenue consultants in the state to prevent Okpala and others like him from further bringing disrepute to the state government.

Chukeunyere urged the governor to put the necessary mechanism in place to protect the hotels in Imo, which is the second largest employer of labour in the state after the government, for sustained economic growth.

He said: “It is most disturbing that Okpala, who was paraded by the police and is currently being prosecuted, still claims to now work with the Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA), a revenue-generating agency of the state.”

He said: We find this embarrassing and therefore call for a thorough, unbiased investigation into how he joined the OCDA when he has an ongoing prosecution for criminal charges.

He said that the national leadership of the association has already written a protest letter to this effect, in which they said that if this matter is not addressed in the next two weeks, they will take decisive action.

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Source:

Tribune Online