Four banks and two privately owned organisations in Enugu have been locked down by the state’s Board of Internal Revenue (BIR) following a distrainment exercise ordered by a court of law.
The banks and organisations include; Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Plc; Sterling Bank Plc; Unity Bank Plc; Heritage Bank Ltd; Robertson Nig. Ltd and Paladium Hotels Ltd located in Enugu metropolis and Nsukka.
While addressing journalists after the exercise,the Enugu board’s Director of Back Duty Audit, Mr. Edwin Iyidiobi said the lock down exercise was carried out on the affected companies due to their non – payment of compulsory taxes to the state government accruing to over 200million Naira. These taxes include unpaid PAYE; under-remitted PAYE; under-remitted Withholding Tax; under-remitted Development Levy and interests and penalties charged on the under-remitted taxes as provided by the law.
While giving a breakdown of the debt figures, Idiyobi disclosed that the companies owe Enugu state the following: GTB (N46m); Sterling Bank (72.2m); Unity Bank (N22m); Heritage Bank (53.8m); Robertson Nig. Ltd (3.1m) and Paladium Hotels Ltd (N3m).
Speaking further, The Director maintained that the lock down was made mandatory after ” several failed appeals to these companies that are indebted to the state government” noting that “they did not comply with our request and of course being law abiding citizens we had to ask for court’s assistance”,he said.
Thus, he stated that to this effect, BIRS, Enugu çgot a court injunction to seal off the affected companies and distrain their activities until all debts have been duly paid.
“We got Court Orders to seal off the affected companies, and distrain them until they pay what they owe the state government”.
Additionally, Idiyobi while citing tax payment as the civic responsibility of individuals and companies, charged the defaulters to endeavor payment of owed taxes to generate income for development of the State and for benefit of the state’s indigenes.