Worried by the abysmal loss in tax payment and its financial incapacitation due to the current economic dawn turn, Government of Akwa Ibom says it will now treat all tax evaders as saboteurs.
State Commissioner for Justice, Uwemedimo Nwoko, who made this known on Wednesday at the opening of the 2016/2017 legal year, said the state government is currently being owed over N30 billion in taxes.
Nwoko, who is also the Attorney-General of the state explained that the statutory allocation from the Federal Account could not sustain the state and that tax evaders are not even helping matters.
“I hereby call on all tax evaders to urgently retrace their steps and ensure payment of taxes and revenue to Akwa Ibom State.
“As a matter of financial responsibility, the Government of Akwa Ibom State will treat all tax evaders as saboteurs of government.”
Nwoko who called on the judiciary to ensure speedy determination of suits affecting revenue generation appealed that cases of revenue accruing to the state should not be lost on the altar of technicalities.
He said: “I therefore urge all tax payers to toe the path of responsibility and without further delay, pay all taxes and revenue as at when due.
I will particularly pray my colleagues to advice their clients appropriately in the matter of taxation.”
Nwoko who said that the state government had set up a Specialized Tax Unit headed by him with the intention of addressing all legal concerns of the State Internal Revenue Service used the occasion to appeal to workers in the state, especially the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, to be patient with the state government.
“I am equally aware that the Judiciary is affected by the scarcity in resources and that the government is not unmindful of its plights,” Nwoko said.
He promised that the state government was working out measures to contain the suffering of the workers and other citizens under the current recession.