The Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) has revealed its ongoing battle against corrupt individuals that are extorting money from businesses and residents under the guise of tax collection.
Danlami Awaje, Chief Revenue Officer of AMAC stated this in response to allegations made by the International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) that thousands of business owners are at risk of financial failure as a result of illegal and arbitrary taxes demanded by some officials.
Commenting on the ‘Public Conscience on Radio’, the anti-corruption radio program produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, Awaje disclosed that taxation fraud in the AMAC had been a persistent occurrence.
According to him, AMAC is working to apprehend unscrupulous individuals defrauding residents of the city while masquerading as municipal officials.
He said, “AMAC has set up a task force that is moving around, checking and looking out for individuals who are not AMAC staff but are extorting and collecting revenue from business owners and residents.
“Following the outcry from the public, the council also disbanded a group set up to bring sanity on the roads but were now harassing and extorting money from car owners on the road.”
He also warned residents not to transfer money into personal bank accounts as the council expects tax payments to be made through the Remita platform.
Launched by SystemSpecs, Nigeria’s financial powerhouse, Remita is an all-in-one digital and mobile payment solution. Remita allows government agencies, businesses, NGOs & individuals to make and receive payments, transfer funds while ensuring invoicing & real-time tracking of all transactions on a single platform.
Explaining the role of Remita tax collection, Awaje said, “We have REMITA platform where we ask all our taxpayers to pay into, generate RRR, pay through REMITA, come with the evidence of payment and obtain official receipt from our office.”
Earlier, Senior Lecturer of Law at Base University, Sam Amadi had said that Abuja residents face the risk of paying multiple taxes as taxes applicable to federal workers sometimes also applied to people working under the Federal Capital Territory.
On the other hand, he believes that the FCT also might encounter some problems navigating between federal taxes and AMAC taxes.
“Think in terms of Julius Berger. You will be shocked that maybe it might not be paying anything to the area council but might be paying directly to the Federal Government and because there is no capacity to compel them the council will leave them and go to the small or micro-enterprises and overtax them,” he said.