Oyo State Government on Thursday sealed off six hotels; four commercial banks; three filling stations and seven companies for defaulting in the payment of the state’s land use charges.
The government said in line with its Land Use Charge Revenue Demand Bill, the state enforcement team sealed off these hospitality and financial institutions who have failed to pay the required tax, even after several reminder and discount offered by the state government.
The properties which fall under the premises that have been captured by the Oyo State Government property enumeration exercises were served bill for over 90 days and were expected to comply with the Land Use Charge obligation.
According to the government, most of these businesses owed the state millions of naira, and the first phase of the exercise to seal was carried out across all local governments within the Ibadan metropolis.
Speaking with pressmen after the exercise, the Chairman of the Board of Internal Revenue, Aremo John Adeleke said the exercise was targeted at urging the businesses in the state to be alive to their responsibilities to enable government provide security, infrastructure and other essentials necessary to make businesses thrive.
The chairman said the state government has given, as palliative, an additional 10% discount to complement the initial 25% discount on all taxes to ensure that the businesses stay afloat in the face of economic realities posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adeleke added that the government I poised to generate all taxes from business owners without any inimical effect on their ventures to sustain economic growth in the state, adding that the enforcement would continue till the end of the year.
“The focus of the drive is not to close down or ground any business but to give a push to businesses to assist government in creating a better business premise for them to thrive,” Adeleke said.
He therefore appealed to business owners to pay all taxes, levies and bills to government because there would not be economic growth when all tax payers are not thriving in their businesses.
Adeleke further stated that the state government has increased its internal revenue by over 26% and that the State was on a growth trajectory, which makes it easy for the government to give business palliative of 35% discount on taxes to increase the capacity of businesses to pay.