Benue Internal Revenue Service: Little Fox Spoiling The Vine?
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
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
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
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
Ephraim Adawa is a public commentator based in Makurdi. He can be
reached at [email protected]