How Gombe IRS uncovered 10,000 stolen receipts from unscrupulous revenue collectors
Chima Azubuike, Gombe
Executive chairman, Gombe state Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Abubakar Inuwa Tata, said the service has upgraded to bar code authentication to ensure probity in the service.
Tata made this disclosure on Tuesday, while confirming how the service discovered the theft of receipts, adding that it affected the revenue of the state.
“We started with the issue of fake receipts with the issue of tax clearance and I ensured they (tax officers) downloaded bar code scanner. This is because the receipt has a bar code, the scanner is like a DNA even if you change the information on the face value, you can’t change the information on the bar code. The information inside the bar code is what is here. Once they edit the names as typed they can’t edit the bar code, they can manipulate some but not all. So after scanning each of them we began to ask customers with conflicting details who gave the receipt to them,” he said.
Recall that in over 20 years the state IGR hovers between 6.8billion naira but grew to 8.5billion naira in 2020.
Tata said, “I have to call revenue officers for a meeting, I told them we will like to install app into their gadgets. When it was brought I asked that they bring it forward. Some quickly reset theirs, but we caught about 5 officers with fake receipts which they use to manipulate figures. From our investigation we discovered that they carry the fake receipts in their flash drive.
“It was when I came I realized over 10,000 receipts got lost but I had to inform members of the public that the receipts were no longer in use and i decided to change it. That brought sanity on the area of receipts, but we have managed to bring that to the nearest minimum on other hand the vehicle paper which includes road worthiness which is not on the platform, we are ensuring it is on the platform so that we can control it. There was a consultant who was a syndicate, he was engaged here to do something but was busy collecting money from small trucks in Abuja. When the information arrived we sent detectives who went to make arrest.”
Tata added that the service was involved in overwhelming leakages, which includes cost of office expenses.
“When I came that generator was said to consume N960,000 monthly on running expense, I had to push it to N280,000 significantly. We don’t even consume up to that when we have steady power supply from general electric,” he said.