Crackdown on debtors: FIRS shuts firms over N3.95b taxes
The shut-down of companies and business premises by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), continued on Wednesday, as its enforcement teams visited tax defaulting companies in Lagos, Nnewi and Kaduna over outstanding of about N3.95 billion debts.
The debts are made up from a combination of $11.964 million or N3.76 billion (N314 to $1) and N218.1 million, where many of those affected in were mostly oil and gas, and manufacturing companies.
In Lagos, the FIRS sealed a petroleum firm in Victoria Island, which owes over $10 million. The FIRS said the company’s promise to offset the debt was not kept.
Also sealed was another petroleum company in Victoria Island for owing $1.964 million. The company’s finance director admitted to owing the amount, but said the company had paid $100,000 as a sign of commitment and pleaded for more time.
The plea was ignored.
Another Oil and Gas company was shut in Lekki, which owes over N165 million in taxes. The financial controller of the company told FIRS officials that the company is currently experiencing cash flow problems.
According to Ann Erinne, head of the Lagos enforcement team, the company was sealed for reneging on its promise to pay N32 million monthly to offset the debt. She added that the company paid N27 million in July, and will pay the N5 million balance for July as well as make full payment for August. The company pleaded for more time, which was rejected.
Another oil company shut is located along the Dockyard Road, Apapa, over tax liabilities totalling N16 million.
In Nnewi, Anambra State, the FIRS closed down the office of, a factory in the Otolo area of the city. The company, which manufactures aluminium products, owes N10. 1 million in Company Income Tax, Withholding Tax and Education Tax, which had accumulated over a period of five years.
The Enforcement Team led by Ruth Mandeun, arrived the company’s premises at around 11.02am. Top management staff of the company attempted to leave the premises to prevent the service of a Warrant of Distrait.
FIRS officials, however, warned that the staff could be prosecuted for obstruction. The team also prevented staff from taking out official vehicles and office equipment before ordering them out their offices to shut down the premises.