Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
In its determined efforts to block all financial leakages, Delta state government has taken steps to arrest fake haulage taskforce members to end their illegal activities in the state.
Investigation revealed that fake haulage taskforce members have turned the state into mecca of sorts in illegal activities, especially within the head bridge in Asaba and Onitsha where they extort money from unsuspecting members of the public including haulage business men and women.
It was gathered that these fraudster taskforce members under the guise of working for the state government had ripped off unsuspecting travellers, especially haulage business women and men at the head bridge linking Asaba and Onitsha where they allegedly collect between N1,000 and N2,000 on each vehicle including drivers of big trucks , long vehicles traveling with their goods to the eastern states , others.
Their modus operandi, further investigation revealed, is to clad in fake Delta state taskforce designed Jackets with bold inscription” Delta Taskforce” and position themselves within the Head bridge, before Asaba International Airport on the Asaba Onitsha express way where they often mar road block for long vehicles and trucks for specific payment of money ranging between N2,000 and N3,000 in most cases with issued receipts.
But the state government through the commissioner for Trade and investments, Mr Chika Ossai who spoke to Journalists in Asaba on Friday, said that Delta state government had put mercenaries in place to arrest and prosecute criminals who pose as haulage taskforce members in the state to extort money from motorists, adding that the state government would also collaborate with security agents such as the Police and members of the Civil Defence Corps to ensure those involved in the illegal activities are brought to book.
Noting that Delta state has remained business friendly state, the commissioner disclosed that at present, there was no taskforce on haulage across the state, adding that most of the taskforces on haulages were illegal, especially at the Asaba Onitsha head bridge axis who are not even Deltans, adding that the state government had put security agencies on the red alert to arrest the illegal taskforce operators.
Ossai said that the state Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration will continue to make the state secure for Investors and ensure that manufacturers operate freely without multiple taxes, and urged manufacturers not to allow the few challenges they face to discourage them from doing business in the state, disclosing that the state government will do everything possible to arrest the illegal activities across the state.
He said:” we are working very hard to ensure that the illegal activities do not thrive anymore in the state, and the taskforce that are always extorting unsuspecting travellers and motorists are brought to book”
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