Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan
The Oyo State Board of Internal Revenue on Wednesday came hard on some banks, telecommunication companies and hotels in the state as they were sealed for their failure to either remit tax or renew their operating licenses.
In an operation geared towards increasing the state’s revenue, some event centres and other business outlets were also sealed.
Chairman of the board, Mr Bicci Alli, said the operation, which began early in the morning followed due process after earlier warnings were issued to the affected offices. He added that the action was backed by section 8(1-2) of the Oyo State professional/business premises law 1996 as amended.
Alli said, “What we are doing is not different from what we are supposed to do. We want to make sure that people pay what they are supposed to pay to Oyo State. We have done a lot in writing, sensitising them, talking to them and exchanging a lot of correspondences before today.
“However, where they fail to do the right thing, we enforce the law. We are very serious about compliance. People should be ready to pay. It does not really matter how much they pay. Our people should learn to do the right thing. They should develop the culture. Though we need to generate more revenues, it is not the amount that matters but the culture of compliance that we want our people to cultivate.”
“The board followed due process. Assessment notice was served on the corporate entities to pay. The bulk of the liabilities we are recovering now relates to 2016/2017, not even 2018. We have evidence to show that notices were sent to the corporate entities while reminders of seven days to pay followed.”
It was gathered that some of the affected companies later visited the office of the board to pay their debt so that their offices could be re-opened.