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Abia bars touts from revenue collection, begins e-ticketing

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Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu.

To demolish criminals, accomplices’ buildings

Abia State Government has abolished the use of touts to collect its revenues.

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Announcing this yesterday, the Deputy Governor and Chairman of the state’s Internal Revenue Generating Council (IRGC), Dr. Ude Oko, said that activities of touts undermined government’s efforts at providing infrastructure for the benefit of the state and country.

Speaking at the meeting of the IRGC and representatives of various transport unions at Michael Okpara Auditorium in Umuahia, Oko said in lieu of touts, the government introduced e-ticketing.

He noted that the meeting, which he convened, was to find the best possible way of bringing sanity in the transport sector.

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The deputy governor directed tricycle operators under the banned Union of Abia State Association of Tricycle Operators of Abia State (ASATOA) to join the Allied Tricycle Riders Integrated Welfare Association (ATRIWA) and Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN), recognised by the government and assured them that they would always be carried along in government policies and programmes.

Acting Chairman of the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR), Chief Celestine Agbara, explained that government decided to harmonise the payment of revenues through the e-ticketing, describing it as the first of its kind in the country.

Also, the General Manager of the Abia State Signage and Advertising Agency (ABSAA), Mr. Tony Otuonye, while stressing that it had become illegal for motorists to, without approval, put on red light signs during the day without ABSAA permission.

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Spokespersons of the various unions lauded the state government for introducing the e-ticketing system but called for harmonisation of the vendors involved in revenue collection across the State.

MEANWHILE, the Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has said that the state will pull down buildings owned by criminals and their accomplices, including buildings used to store or transit illicit drugs, as well as those used to hide kidnap victims.

According to the governor, this is part of measures taken to rid the state of criminals, including armed robbers, kidnappers and illicit drugs dealers.

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Announcing this yesterday while interacting with the press in Umuahia, he stated that the measure became necessary due to apprehension that has plagued the state.

He said: “The government will do everything necessary to keep kidnappers and perpetrators at bay in the state.

“By the laws of Abia State, the government will pull down any building used to keep kidnap victims or used as a transit point for the movement of kidnap victims. We will also pull down buildings where arms, ammunition or illicit drugs are found.”

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