Nigerian lawmakers on Thursday raised alarm over indiscriminate collection of taxes and levies by unscrupulous individuals across the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, warning undiscerning residents not to fall prey to swindlers.
These dubious elements, the lawmakers said, have taken over the role of FCT Internal Revenue Service and now parade themselves as genuine staff of the tax collection office.
The awareness was contained in a motion of urgent national concern raised by Emmanuel Oker-Jev at the resumed plenary Thursday.
Mr. Oker-Jev, from Benue State, said fraudsters have been collecting revenues from Abuja residents for several months.
The lawmaker said the crooks have become so brazen in their rackets that they now write tax and levies invoices to residents. In some cases, those who fail to pay bills are being thrown out of their property by the touts.
Mr. Oker-Jev said the perpetrators of the brazen illegality are exploiting a 2015 approved list for tax collection around the nation’s capital to carry out their trade.
“The act pretends an affront on the FCT Inland Revenue Service Act and Tax Laws of the Federation,” Mr. Oker-Jev said in his prepared motion.
Other lawmakers who contributed to the motion blamed the FCT revenue office for failing to set up additional departments recommended by the House for collection of taxes and levies, giving the touts an opening to impersonate revenue officers.
Speaker Yakubu Dogara ruled that the motion was adopted and urged the House’s FCT Committee to find out why the city’s revenue office did not implement previous resolutions by the House on the matter.
The committee is expected to submit its report within four weeks.
In the interim, the House passed a resolution for residents around the FCT to disregard taxes and levies from the questionable individuals.