Benin – The Edo Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday raided 20 illegal motor parks on reserved government lands in Benin City.
The Executive Chairman of the service, Chief Oseni Elamah, led the raid following government’s ban on illegal revenue collection.
Elamah said the exercise was to inform, educate and enlighten the people to stop illegalities in the state.
He said there were complaints that some individuals were using government’s lands as parks while some others were collecting revenue from it without remitting to the government.
“There is a ban on revenue collectors who are notorious for issuing tickets to workers of various parks in the state.
“In the IGR review meeting, we got a call from the Ministry of Transport that some parcels of land acquired by the government have been converted to local parks by private persons who have been collecting revenue.
“We are here to verify and it is true from what we have seen so far. Others trade on the properties even on the walk way and the main road.
“So, we are following the directive that the governor has given and are appealing to our people to stop the illegal activities.
“We need to sensitise our people; we need to educate and enlighten them because it is not a job for government alone; we all need to join hands and eliminate illegal revenue by all means possible”, he said.
Elamah said when people subjected themselves to illegality, there was little the government could do other than raiding.
He urged the media to help in sensitising the people on illegal activities adding that anyone caught would be prosecuted.
One of the park operators, Mr Friday Okunbor, said the state chapter of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria gave the permission to operate the park.
According to him, “It was when these road employers were still working that they told us to load here to Auchi.”
Mrs Esther Agba, a business woman, who was apprehended while trading on the walkway, said she paid between N1, 500 to N2, 000 daily to display her wares.