Abia State government has banned its agents from collecting taxes and levies on major roads to stem touting.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu announced the ban in a press statement issued by Onyebuchi Ememanka, his chief press secretary and made available to Businessday in Abia.
The governor observed that revenue agents and touts harass motorists driving through major roads in the state, thereby constituting themselves into nuisance to residents and non-residents.
He, therefore, ordered the removal of such revenue collectors from major roads in the state to discourage touting.
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The governor further ordered the executive chairman of Osisioma Ngwa local government area, Christian Kamalu, to remove all touts around Osisioma Flyover, who claim to be collecting levies for government or other organisations.
Ikpeazu stated that henceforth, it has “become illegal for any revenue agent under any guise whatsoever to waylay or harass motorists or other road users along major roads in the state”.
The governor said he has mandated the Commissioner of Police to arrest and prosecute anyone, who attempts to set up road blocks for revenue collection along major roads in Abia.
It would be recalled that Ikpeazu, in March 2016, announced a ban on all forms of touting, saying activities of touts project the state in bad light.
He said his administration would do everything to enforce the ban, but the ban was flouted by transport unions and some local and state government agents in Abia.
The State House of Assembly had earlier made a law banning touting in Abia, but the law was never respected by agents of the transport unions, local and state government revenue agents, as many of the touts claimed to have the mandate of the government to collect revenue on its behalf.