The Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA) says most sanitation revenue teams going round the state capital were not known to them. The groups were said to be going round the streets allegedly extorting money and defrauding companies, shop owners, and others, the agency said.
In a statement in Port Harcourt, Jerry Needam, the media aide to the Sole Administrator, Felix Obuah, aid unsuspecting members of the public were paying money and unauthorized levies in the name of the agency.
Needam who reported the anger of the Sole Administrator said Obuah never directed nor intended to direct any person or group of persons on ‘such dubious and criminal’ acts now or in the near future.
According to Needam, the boss warned for the umpteenth time that everything that has to do with revenue collection in the state is under the control and supervision of the Rivers State Board of Internal Revenue.
“The RIWAMA boss reiterated that any person harassing shop owners and other business operators for levies or monies of any kind and, or seizing their goods must be criminals and should be apprehended and taken to the Police for prosecution.
He regretted that despite persistent cautions and warnings from the Agency to the general public about the environmental laws of the State and the activities of dupes though not confined to Rivers State, some people have continued to fall prey to the treachery and cheap tricks of these fraudsters.
The RIWAMA boss also disclosed that the fraudsters drive around the city, extorting compulsory Sanitation Levies from unsuspecting and defenseless members of the public in the name and with fake Identity Card of Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), raking in Millions of naira from them in the process.
“The Agency has been receiving reports for some time now, and has been desperately trying to track down these criminals through the security agencies but are still at large”, Bro. Obuah said, calling on the general public to be vigilant and report the suspects if found to the nearest Police Station or to RIWAMA office at Mile 4, Ikwerre Road in Port Harcourt.
“The Sole Administrator of RIWAMA, Bro. Felix Obuah lamented that the Agency has at several fora clearly stated that RIWAMA is not a levy-collection agency and does not collect fees for waste management and therefore warned members of the public to beware of fraudsters, who go around extorting money from business operators and the general public in the name of RIWAMA.”