The Rivers State House of Assembly on Wednesday approved the ban on contractors and private consultants who engage in collection and remittance of personal income tax in the state.
The measure followed a letter from Governor Nyesom Wike to the House requesting the ban on services of middlemen or contractors in matters pertaining to government revenue collection.
The letter, read at the plenary, sought for the consideration and approval of the state regulations which prohibits the engagement of contractors or private consultant from collecting government revenue.
During debate on the request, members affirmed the request as they noted that its provision was in the best interest of the state.
In his contribution, the House Majority leader, Martin Amaehule, representing Obio/Akpor State Constituency 1, said the request was in line with the state law.
Amaehule said: “The request we have before us today is a regulation in pursuance of section 75 of the Rivers State Board of Internal Revenue service law No.12 of 2012 and all other powers enabling the laws of the board.
“This particular section makes it mandatory for the chairman of the board to seek the approval of the state House of Assembly whenever regulations regarding the duties of the board are to be made.
“The key item on today’s request is that the state’s Board of Internal Revenue Service no longer needs consultants to take part in tax collection for the state government.
“The board wishes to be the only recognised body in charge of all revenue services so as to give room for accountability and transparency.”
Subsequently, the 24 members representing the various state constituencies unanimously voted in favour of the governor’s request.
On his part, the Speaker, Ikunyi-Owaji Ibani, representing Andoni State Constituency, said that the approval, having successfully scaled through debate, would check unnecessary loopholes in the state revenue services.
Ibani said: “The approval today gives the board a total control of the state revenue; indeed, this is a milestone especially for a development-oriented state like ours.
“It’s indeed a step geared toward instilling right norms and values in our institutions.
“As stakeholders, we must key into promoting the quantum human capital and infrastructure development of this administration.
“The ninth Assembly, through robust legislation, is committed to smooth actualisation of the governor’s development strides in the state.”