The Federal Inland Service has continued its crackdown on tax-defaulting companies by sealing off their premises in Lagos and Abuja.
In Lagos, a team led by Mr. Umar Gana sealed off Mayssa International Limited, which situated in Etim Inyang Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos, over a tax debt of N133.8m. The managing director of the firm, who identified himself as Mr. Robert, told the team that while the company truly owed, the debt was not on the scale the FIRS claimed.
He added that the organisation was making efforts to pay what it owed, an assurance that did not impress the team, which shut the premises.
The team also shut Modesty Properties Limited, situated at No. 255, Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos for a tax liability of N30.7m. The exercise also affected Joza Global Logistics Limited, situated at No. 8, Ribadu Road, Ikoyi, which was shut for owing N62.4m.
In Abuja, the FIRS team leader, Mrs. Ruth Mandeun, ordered the sealing of the premises of Hakimco Automobiles Limited at the city’s Central Business District. The company, according to a statement by the FIRS, is indebted to the tune of N335,902.
The manager claimed to have paid the debt, but when given 30 minutes to produce evidence of payment, he disappeared and the company was shut.
On Wednesday in Lagos, the premises of Ace Products and Services, situated at No. 20, Sanni Ashmiu Close, Awoyaya, was shut over a tax debt of N157.3m.
However, members of staff of the company refused to open the gates for the FIRS officials despite properly identifying themselves. The refusal to open the gates lasted about 15 minutes, after which policemen attached to the team forced the gates open for Gana to order the firm’s staff members out of the premises for the company to be sealed.
The team also visited Globasure Technology Limited at No. 10, Ashabi Adewale Close, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. The company is said to be indebted to the tune of N36.5m, which had accumulated between 2007 and 2014.
The company’s managing director admitted that the organisation owed, but insisted that the amount was below what the FIRS claimed. He appealed to the team for more time, blaming the failure to pay on the harsh economic situation in the country. His plea was, however, ignored and the company was shut.
On Tuesday, the FIRS sealed Diplomat Hotel located at No. 1 Shonny Way, Shonibare Estate, Maryland, Lagos, which allegedly owed N35.1m accumulated over the last four years. The hotel’s customer care manager said the management was “concerned about the debt.”
The same day, the team closed the premises of Island Power Limited, a power generating firm said to be owing N132.5m from 2012 to 2014. The company’s administrative department was shut, leaving the power plant because of the essential service it provides. But at Conservative Estimate Limited, situated at No. 15 Fatai Irawo Way, Papa Ajao, Lagos, the team met the premises under lock and key, as the firm allegedly relocated four months back. The warrant showed that the company owed N15.8m.