Sanction Perpetrators Mercilessly!
It is frightening to learn that at the time the State coffers are shivering for want of liquidity, owing to a free fall in the price of crude oil on the international market, fraudsters are swindling the scarce money through the issuance of fake fiscal stamps to users. The rush season for various competitive entrance examinations into most prestigious professional institutions of learning is offering a golden opportunity to the hoodlums to flourish in the dirty business, regrettably at the detriment of general good. As economically devastating as the operation is, it seems to be prospering with near impunity as authorities charged with certifying or receiving the certified documents purely push off the cheated candidate even as the fraudsters continue to trap innocent and sometimes hasty new ‘customers.’
Though updated statistics may not be readily available on how much the State loses, the rate at which the phenomenon is gaining grounds and the context at moment, call for worry. While the gangsters lure the innocent citizens into buying the fake produce, licensed offices and officers assigned to fetch revenue for the State through the sale of the stamps remain in limbo. Worse still, money that would have come in through the operation is illegally diverted into private pockets. Sad indeed for the State both in terms of optimal revenue collection and good governance. This is the more damaging to the State that needs quantity financial resources and integrity to attain already set development objectives.
Depriving a whole nation of harvesting where she has painstakingly sown, looking at the reforms in place to augment non-oil revenue, as well as cheating sometimes cash-stripped citizens who are yearning for limited places in the sun, are simply unacceptable! Striving to survive in a competitive world is important but defrauding the other to live, as the dirty business presents, is to say the least, irresponsible.
Halting the scourge is thus imperative. This passes through sensitization of users on how to differentiate between fake and authentic stamps. But more importantly, hitting hard on perpetrators of the act. Success, no doubt, lies on indiscriminately and mercilessly sanctioning culprits!