The Oyo State Inter-ministerial Tax enforcement team on Wednesday and Thursday sealed about 39 firms including banks, private hospitals, companies, filling stations within Ibadan metropolis for tax defaulting.
The regional headquarters of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Zenith bank were sealed on Wednesday while some of the firms were sealed today, Thursday.
Bank customers were shocked and embarrassed as bank managers broke out in cold sweat when government officials, backed by law enforcement agents sealed off their offices. They pleaded with the officials but the latter insisted on carrying out the assignment. The bank managers then started begging, assuring that the taxes would be paid without any delay.
The drama was the same at the Dugbe, Ibadan, outlet of Shoprite. For almost three hours, the management of Shoprite pleaded with the task force but the plea did not stop the outlet from being locked up as the management could not provide evidence of payment.
Other firms sealed include Unity Hospital Orogun, Ojulowo Eye Clinic, Victory Medical Centre, Grath Nigeria limited, Jericho Idi-Ishin, Ibadan; Dabil Global Ventures, Apata, Ibadan; Funbel Diagnostic Centre, Challenge; Bubble Plus Recreation Centre, Ring Road, Eco Groove, Challenge and some commercial banks.
The tax enforcement team’s action was sequel to the announcement made by the government to embark on an enforcement of payment of taxes, levies duties and other rates by corporate organizations and individuals.
READ: Ajimobi calls for cooperation as Oyo begins aggressive tax drive on Wednesday
It would be recalled that the state government had embarked on the sensitization and engagement program for citizens, traders, artisans and business owners in the state on the need to pay their taxes in order to improve the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.
According to the Special Adviser to the Governor Board of Internal Revenue, Mr. Biyi Oloko, the move became necessary because many of the companies failed to pay government’s rates, taxes, development levy and renewal of business premises registration fees despite all the notices served on them, noting that, this contravenes the provision of Section 8 of the State business/professional premises law of 1996.
“This enforcement exercise has become imperative because the economy of the state needs a turnaround through internally generated revenue, private sector led investment and partnerships. The government is operating within the ambits of the law; both individual and corporate citizens must inculcate the culture of responsible citizenship by performing their statutory duties.
“Some firms as well as individuals were expecting us and they paid immediately we got there. Some organizations rushed to make their payment and we have reopened their firms/offices. Our action is backed by the law and we have to ensure that we do not err on the part of it,” he explained.
Mr. Oloko urged all eligible tax payers in the state to remit their payments into government’s coffers or face sanctions as the exercise would be a continuous one.