The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), ramped up its tax enforcement drive when its teams shut down premises of companies with tax liabilities in Warri, Lagos and Ilorin.
In Warri, Delta State, the enforcement team visited two companies. At a Construction company, along Enerhen Road, the FIRS team evicted all the staff before sealing off the premises for unremitted taxes in excess of N400million, accumulated from 2013.
Efforts by a management staff, simply identified as Mr. Ben, to present some tax clearance documents as proof of payment were rebuffed. The enforcement team insisted they had a duty to seal unless there was verifiable proof of payment of the said arrears.
“These defaulters had the option of clearing the arrears to avoid being sealed even at the point we came in. Now they still have a duty to settle the debt to get unsealed. If they fail to settle the arrears or attempt to operate under FIRS lock and key, we have other measures of enforcement against them,” said FIRS.
At a pipelines services company on Sedco Road, Uvwie Local Government Area, the team met a team of policemen at the premises. The policemen claimed the company had been shut for more than three years following a court injunction restraining the workers or management from working there pending determination of court case between management and staff. The company has an aggregate debt tax of N178,638,649.90
In Lagos, the enforcement team, led by Chinazor Edeh, visited an oil and gas firm at Beachland Estate, Apapa. The company is said to owe N31million, a tax debt the operational manager said he was not aware of.
He later phoned the company’s tax consultant, who admitted that the company was owing, but asked for more time to enable it pay.
This was rejected by Edeh, who insisted that the company had to pay immediately or have its premises shut. Edeh ordered the premises shut at about 11.50am.