Imo hoteliers, consultants at war over revenue collection

Posted by News Express | 11 September 2022 | 265 times

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•Gov Uzodimma


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)


Source: News Express

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