Osun government shuts OAU, others over alleged tax default
The Osun State Internal Revenue Service (OSIRS) has shut down the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife over alleged tax default.
Officials of the Revenue Task Force arrived the campus yesterday and shut its gates about 7am.
They swooped on the university and sealed its Senate building, the administrative block and the bursary, before they proceeded to the main gate putting it under lock and key.
The closure of OAU and other organisations in the state followed the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum issued by the state government to all tax defaulters.
Some of the organisations closed down included Sammiya Construction Company and a money lending company, LAPO Agric located along Gbongon-Osogbo road.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Tax Matters and Revenue Generation, Jimoh Gbenga Akano, confirmed the closure of the institution and the firms.
Akano said OAU allegedly owed the state government about N1.8 billion and that the government had no choice than to seal it when the university authorities refused to meet up with the deadline issued to them.
He said the money owed by the institution was outstanding unremitted pay-as –you-earn (PAYE) withholding taxes and developments levy, which were due and payable since 2015 and 2016.
“It is callous for any organisation to refuse to pay taxes. We are all know that the state has financial challenge because of the meager revenue accruing to it from the Federal allocation occasioned by economic recession.
“We had earlier issued the affected establishments seven-day ultimatum which was even given a wide media coverage and we expect every responsible organisations to come to us for dialogue,” he stated.
He disclosed that as at yesterday, OAU management refused to approach the revenue agency for dialogue, adding that they did not respond while some of other affected companies responded.
“Sammya owed the state government about N5 million, just as LAPO Agric owed N7million. We have appealed to all the establishments and individuals owing the state government to pay but most of them refused to do so,” he said.
In his reaction, the university’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Abiodun Olanrewaju, said management would soon resolve the issue with the state government.
Olanrewaju said the debt was inherited from the institution’s past administration.
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