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Benue Internal Revenue Service: Little Fox Spoiling The Vine?

By Ephraim Adawa

Benue state is most certainly not in the best of positions today and all who live in her or have her at heart will certainly attest to this bitter truth; the leadership may be honest, just as it is trying to make the best of a totally abysmal situation. There is the case of an empty treasury inherited to the minus and also the unfortunate unprecedented fall in crude oil price.

Towards the end of Benue's dark era when the people had lost all hope

in the ability of the state to cater for its own, with salary backlog

mounting while squandermania became the order of the day, there came a

perceived flicker of hope through the wave of change that swept

across the state epitomised by the person and character of Dr. Samuel

Ortom.
Dr. Ortom like the biblical Moses came with a zeal that emboldened the

hopes of a canan for the people, as he began restoring the peoples

confidence from his blueprint anchored on five solid pillars.

Understanding the tides and times the seasoned industrialist cum

politician took the lead to independence from oil by making one of the

pillars of his administration agriculture. Benue has comparative

advantage in this field with all potentials needed to explode in the

sector available from Manpower to natural resources, save for the

finance needed for take off. As such the need for alternative means of

kick starting this sector.
Judging from the previous administration's success at revenue

generation which actually complemented the federal allocation which

accounted majorly for the consistency in salary payment in the era

when there was the blooming tax regime, the governor set out to engage

the best hands to man this darling tool.
While contenders lined up for this all important task, including the

former tax wand master, there came a seeming hot rush for a believed

tax amazon (as she is addressed by admirers), one who came with an

intimidating Curriculum Vitae and experience from the Federal Internal

Revenue Service ( FIRS). She serenaded everyone with her robust social

media campaign courting with her a non - negligible cult like

followership.
Lo and behold Benue had found its Aaron in her. Mrs. Mimi Adzape

-Orubibi was appointed the Chairman of the BIRS amidst several

contenders. Mrs. Adzape - Orubibi did not just come to the table, she

came with promises which rekindled the people's hopes; promises of

higher tax returns and more jobs as compared to the previous tax

master.
In these there was the hope of Benue surely rising again.

Unfortunately it is months on and this flicker of hope is gradually

dimming as the sate seem to have taken a one way gamble on a bad hand.

She may have been overwhelmed by the razzmatazz that heralded the

arrival of the Chairman and may have been blind to her incapabilities

or the madame may have very well being a perfect con artist who took

the state on fairy tale journey to an inexistent utopia.

Since the arrival of Mrs. Orubibi - Adzape there has been continual

downward slide in the state revenue, such that one begins to wonder if

the state had no activity at all or there was intentional attempt to

hoodwink and fleece the state by same artists through under reporting

of the state's tax profile.
In all her months as boss, the acclaimed tax expert has only succeeded

in perfecting an intense media campaign serenading the social media

waves with nothingness while the state continues to hang in wait for

the raise in Internally Generated Revenue to complement the pittance

that is delivered by the Federal government.
The popular saying goes thus, to whom much is given, much is expected,

this is why it will be proper to remind her that the trust built by

her in Benue people is one which requires reciprocal action as it is

soon dawning on the people that propaganda and media domination does

not raise money.
Only recently was she everywhere on social media courtesy of her media

hirelings who celebrated what they termed 100 Days in office. In all

the money spent on hypes and propaganda the message and achievement

accounted for in the several pieces written was the introduction of

P.O.S machines in the receipt of tax. It was celebrated and claimed to

be the best measure at blocking leakages however it has not translated

into revenue generation.
It is time for BIRS to live up to its task by generating revenue and

walk away from their new found love of town hall meetings and courtesy

calls.
Ephraim Adawa is a public commentator based in Makurdi. He can be

reached at [email protected]

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Ephraim Adawa and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."