Posted by News Express | 11 September 2022 | 265 times
The raging battle between the Nigeria Hotels Association, Imo State chapter, and government revenue consultants is far from being over as some of the revenue seekers on Thursday descended on two popular hotels within the Owerri capital city, and embarked on looting spree of items while impounding vehicles belonging to the hospitality industry without any court order backing their action.
The hapless hotels are ‘Forever Hotels’ and ‘Amorcito Hotels’, which lost such items as photocopying machine, laptops, computers, including undisclosed large sum of money.
The Association had last week issued a 14-day ultimatum to the state government to halt incessant, harassment intimidation and extortion being meted out to her members by revenue touts/self-acclaimed revenue consultants who allegedly masquerade as staff of the Staff Environmental Transformation Commission (ENTRACO) warning that failure to do so would lead to the closure of al hotels in the state.
Chima Chukwunyere, Chief Servant of the association (chairman), who spoke to newsmen in Owerri during which he gave graphic details of the invasion, said that the association had consistently adhered strictly to a Mutual Agreement with the State Internal Revenue Service (IIRs) in respect of payment of taxes and other requirements, obligations.
According to him, at the centre of the controversy was the coordinator of the state Biometric Data and Painting who, with a team of armed men, impounded one of the hotels for failure to officially register with his office.
Chukwunyere expressed anger that despite government’s clarification that vehicles belonging to hotels had no business to do with the Government Biometric Data Capturing and Painting Exercise, the overzealous aggressive revenue consultants had remained a thorn on the flesh of hoteliers, boasting that government officials lack the capacity to stop them from carrying out their business as they had already paid them and must recoup their money.
He wondered why the state government had continued to remain insensitive to the plight of the very industry that is the second largest employer of labour in the state and a veritable strong source of revenue generation to her.
“A good number of Hotels in this state are now lying comatose due to the prevailing harsh economic climate and subjecting them to unwarranted extortion and harassment in the guise of revenue collection might mean the end of the hospitality industry in this state”.
While the government is insistent that the association should not be involved in the Biometric Data Capturing and Painting, N250 daily day, the consultants he said are saying otherwise hence the confusion and unabated harassment and intimidation the members are passing through.
Michael Mbakwe, Secretary of the Association, who equally denounced the excesses of the Revenue Consultants arising from frequent harassment, extortion and multiple taxation, pleaded with the state government to do something about it before it is too late (Sunday Independent)
No comments yet. Be the first to post comment.