They were hired by local government revenue agencies and tax forces by the past administration of Adams Oshiomhole.
Youths who were drawn from Akugbe Ventures, Professional Drivers on Wheel Association, Drivers Welfare Scheme and Tipper Drivers Association, revenue taskforces and other local agents were on Sunday sacked by Governor Obaseki.
In his New Year message, the governor accused them of persistently harassing and extorting the residents under the guise of collecting taxes and levies for the state government.
It was gathered on Monday that the ban on revenue collection by the youths had taken off even though those affected were yet to be briefed on the development or incorporated into any employable scheme.
According to the governor, “I must quickly mention that one issue that continues to agitate Edo people is the lawless activities of some individuals who persist in harassing and extorting innocent citizens under the guise of collecting taxes and levies. The laws of our country vest the responsibility for collecting taxes exclusively on the three tiers of government, for instance, Federal, State and Local governments.”
He continued: “Consequently, with effect from today, January 01, 2017, only employees of government can collect taxes and levies in Edo State. All arrangements to collect taxes or levies entered into by any state or local government agency in Edo State, ceases to be valid with effect from today.”
Meanwhile, there are speculations that the state government has plans to employ the services of Lagos-based consultants to act as its revenue agents.
But the Interim Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr John Mayaki, who reacted to the claims, said that “there is absolutely no truth in the allegation that Edo State government has contracted the services of consultants from Lagos State as revenue agents.”
Mayaki added that “besides, Edo State government since former Governor Adams Oshiomhole took over has never used consultants to collect its taxes.”