FIRS Shuts HFP Engineering, Others in Lagos

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In continuation of its tax drive nationwide, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has closed down the operational headquarters of H.F.P Engineering Nigeria Limited over the company’s tax liabilities of N536million. With the closure, officials of the company were ordered out of the office located at Globe House, Plot 0-17B, Road 8, Victoria Garden City, Lagos.

A statement by the FIRS enforcement unit, led by Anita Erinne, while briefing newsmen in Lagos yesterday stated that the team also sealed Meditarian Nigeria Limited at 243, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, which has a tax debt of over N4billion spanning 2008 – 2013. An officer of the company Mr Raja, an Indian, said he was not aware of the said debt. He called on one Mr. Kola to attend to the FIRS team. Kola admitted that they owed the amount and pleaded for time to pay it. “We have been in discussions with your office in Abuja over the matter.” he said. The FIRS officials were not persuaded and sealed the company’s office at 2:30pm.

Erinne said that also affected was Dimension Data at Block 235 Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. The company has tax liabilities in excess of N540 million. Top officials of the company were said to be unavailable when the office was sealed at 1:30pm.

The same fate befell Sirius Energy Resources, located at 209 Muri Okunola Street. The company owes N11million in taxes. Holding a Warrant of Distraint letter, Erinne told female employee in the company’s administrative department to inform staff to vacate the premises within 10 minutes.

The enforcement team visited NICON Hotel at the Victoria Garden City after it was informed that Global Fleet, a tax-defaulting company owned by Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, was operating from there. But the hotel was not sealed. This was after Ibrahim came out to explain to the team, which wanted to lock up its premises, that Global Fleet is currently being managed by Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

“AMCON has taken over for now and there is a court order on that. As soon as it is waived, after we have resolved with AMCON, we will call you concerning liabilities,” Ibrahim told the FIRS team. Ibrahim also insisted that Global Fleet operates from its Marina headquarters and not the NICON Hotel. At TSL Logistics Limited, located at 1 Coker Road, Ilupeju, a staff of the company put up a spirited effort to persuade the team not to seal the office. The man, who identified himself as Mr. Wale, said the company was not owing the N724million ascribed to it by the FIRS, given that it submitted a credit note of N211million to the FIRS office yesterday. Erinne, however, insisted that the document from her office indicates a tax debt of N724million and ordered the office sealed at 4.25pm.