By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The Anambra State government has lamented that it is being owed as much as N600 million in tax by companies, schools, hotels and other business concerns operating in the state, most of which have bluntly refused to pay up.
The Chairman of Anambra State Internal Revenue Service, Dr. David Nzekwu, stated this on Tuesday, during the enforcement of a court order, which empowered the board to seal off some companies that were indebted to the state government.
Nzekwu said some of the companies where the order were being enforced owed taxes for years without remitting them, the reason it approached a state High Court to force the companies to pay up.
“We are owed N600 million by defaulting companies in the state, and the court has given orders for us to seal the premises of such companies, and that is what we are doing today. We are not molesting anyone, but simply sealing off their premises to ensure they pay up,” he said.
The revenue board, which was in Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi for enforcement, sealed off Sabrud Consortium, producers of prepaid electricity meters in Awka, which owed over N5 million from January 2011 to December 2016, Divine Favour Pharmaceutical Company, Nkpor, which also owed N5 million from 2010 to 2015 and Nelly New Town Hotels and Suites which owed N8 million.
Other companies also sealed off included: Ejiamatu Microfinance Bank, Ojoto; Eteleson Industries, Ogbunike; and Delendu Aluminium Manufacturing company, Onitsha, said to have evaded tax to the tune of N8 million between 2016 to 2017.
Nzekwu lamented that most of the monies owed the state could help the governor, Chief Willie Obiano, in his good works in the state.
He explained that the expectation of every new company was to register within six months of operation and render their tax returns in respect to companies and individuals’ financial strength.
He also stated that the companies would incur additional cost as a result of the sealing off of their premises, adding that breaking the seal was a huge offence that could land one in prison.
The state Governor, Obiano, had recently during a meeting with civil servants promised to pay the new minimum wage, while also urging the state revenue services to work hard to increase the internally generated revenue of the state, which he hoped to make the payment.