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Govt moves to stop illegal toll collections, checkpoints in Cross River

By Our Reporter

The Cross River State Government in a bid to stop the menace of illegal checkpoints and tolls, has begun a massive crackdown on such collections across the state.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Tolls Collection, Mr Bassey Ita Edet, who led a monitoring and inspection delegation to the Northern Part of the State on Tuesday, said the end to all illegal tolls and checkpoints is in line with the mandate of his boss, Governor Bassey Otu, which is, “People’s First.”

Ita said the team is given the mandate to enforce, inspect and monitor all approved checkpoints and toll collection in the Northern Senatorial District to ensure compliance and due process.

Investigation from our Reporter revealed that a total of almost 50 revenue subheads were used to get money from commuters on roads within the State.

A source revealed that the Acting Coordinator of IRS/Task Force Chairman in Bekwarra Local Government Area, Dr Thrompson Omang, has been a hindrance to the government’s effort to create an enabling environment for all, as he allegedly abused and bullied commuters who try to inquire the reasons behind the so many subheads and surmounting fees and levies.

Our Reporter gathered that vehicles carrying goods are subjected to paying not less than N27,000 to and fro Bekwara, and failure to comply results in impounding of vehicles, and offloading of goods and passengers.

One of the affected passengers (name withheld) said that the Omang used men in military uniforms to harass and beat them up.

“When did the military begin to meddle in State Internal Revenue Affairs?” the passenger queried.

A driver who also spoke under anonymity disclosed that Omang’s Personal Assistant (PA), referred to as Sunny, collects 10,000 from each vehicle carrying goods.

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The driver also lamented other road taxes in other parts of the state, adding that, “This is one of the major reasons for the increment in the cost of food items and farm produce cultivated in Cross River State.

“Some persons who have no idea about public administration are trying to tarnish the governor’s name. We’re sure that Dr Omang and the Governor are not aware of all this wickedness perpetuated by those they’ve given sub-heads.”

Meanwhile, some of the consultants who pleaded anonymity, said the PA (Sunny) to the Acting Coordinator of IRS/Task Force Chairman sold the majority of the subheads to them for two million naira each.

They further revealed that one of the main reasons why the levy is high now is because their bosses want to at least make their capital as the contract is just for a year.

Stakeholders have also called on the Governor and the Cross River State House of Assembly to look into the matter, by calling Dr Omang to order (or possibly replace him) as well as reduce the subheads and regulate the amount of levies on the road.

The commuters were, however, happy when the SA to the Governor on Toll Collection team arrived at the Northern Cross River on the 14th of May.

Efforts to reach Omang for comments proved abortive at the time of filing this report, as his number wasn’t reachable.

The following are a few of the revenue subheads:

  • Consumer protection levy
  • Sand Landing levy
  • Economic development levy
  • Women and Social Development Levy
  • Non-cocoa produce inspection fee
  • Outgoing levy – N15,000 in Beten and N12,000 in Gakem produce point then N1,000 in each of the 5 IRS check points in Bekwara LGA.
  • Welfare levy
  • Security levy
  • 9Daily operational toll levy
  • Proceeds Levy
  • Towners Levy
  • Cargos levy
  • Surveillance levy – N10,000
  • Road infrastructure – N6,000
  • Consumer protection levy
  • Commercial levy
  • Entry gate pass levy
  • Local government taxes
  • Industrial development levy
  • Pollution levy
  • Cross River Urban Development Levy
  • Youth development levy
Editorial Team
Editorial Team
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