Enugu gives federal agencies deadline to pay N13b tax debt
• First cargo flight land in Akanu Ibiam Airport
Enugu State Government has given federal institutions in the state up to the end of August to remit N13 billion taxes deducted from workers’ salaries.Failure to do so, the state government said, would attract sanctions.
State Chairman of the board of Internal Revenue, Mr. Emeka Odo, yesterday argued that the current economic challenges had made it urgent for government to insist on recovering debts.
Odo explained that some establishments, which enjoyed patronage from the state government blatantly refused to remit taxes deducted from employees’ salaries.He said state governments were relying on internally generated revenue to fund their activities, and Enugu is not an exception.
Odo listed government agencies indebted to the state: Federal College of Education, Ehamufu, owes N197 million in taxes. University of Nigeria, Nsukka is owing us over N10 billion, the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital too is owing us over N3 billion, National Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu is owing us over a N131 million.
“These are taxes that have been deducted from their workers’ salaries but have not been remitted to the state government. We are appealing to all the institutions to urgently remit these monies to enable government meet its obligations to citizens.
“It is a crime under the Personal Income Tax Act to deduct from workers wages and refuse to remit to appropriate authorities. We give them up to the end of this month to make those remittances, otherwise we will start action against them,” he warned.
However, some of the federal institutions including UNN and UNTH when contacted said they “do not know about the claim by the state government.”They maintained that “payment of tax follows a process, which I am sure is documented.”Odo however, insisted that the indebtedness had spanned a period of five years. He added a lot of banks in the state owe us millions of naira on unpaid withholding tax on deposits by individuals and we appeal that these banks should pay up.
Meanwhile, three years after it flew the first international passenger flight to the Akanu Ibiam International airport, Enugu, the European Airlines recorded another milestone yesterday with flying its Boeing 757 cargo flight into the airport.
The plane operated by Captain Williams Williams landed the airport tarmac at about 1.30p.m amid warm embrace of Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and some other dignitaries. He described the landing as “a historic occasion that will raise the profile of the airport and boost the economy of the state and the entire South-East.”
Ugwuanyi explained that the momentous event was consistent with the objectives of the first ever Enugu State Investment Summit held last April where he had declared that the state is ready for business.