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Ekiti seals off banks, telecoms firms over alleged tax evasion

tax-evasion-300x225EKITI State Government has sealed off the business premises of some banks and GSM service providers over an alleged non-payment of Business Premises Tax to the state government.

The Commissioner for Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, Mr. Michael Ayodele said the affected business outfits owed the state government money running to millions of naira.

Ayodele, who spoke in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, said some of the affected firms had not paid the said tax in the last three years.

The commissioner, who led officials of his ministry to seal off the premises, said the government took the action following repeated warnings to the organisations to fulfil their financial obligations to the state.

He wondered why corporate bodies, making a lot of money from the state, would find it difficult to fulfill their civic obligations to the state.

“People and business outfits must be alive to their civic responsibilities. It is not good when an organisation operates in a state and makes money and refuses to pay the necessary taxes to the state government.

“We all know that the current economic realities require the blocking of all financial leakages and looking inward for the government to generate funds.

“The administration of Governor Ayodele Fayose is delivering the dividends of democracy to the people of the state and it is money the government needs to execute its programmes and we appeal to all to cooperate and pay levies, taxes and dues promptly and fully,” he said.

He added that the state government would not hesitate to seal off any erring firm in the state.

In another development, tipper lorry owners in Ekiti State yesterday began an indefinite strike to protest N1,000 haulage fee per trip and a fine of N50,000 on any defaulter by the state government.

They disclosed that members of the union had been paying levies to the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals including N20,000 yearly renewal fee; N9,000 royalty levy and a processing fee of N10,000.

Acting under the aegis of the Union of Tipper and Quarry Employers of Nigeria, Ekiti State chapter, the group described the imposition of the levy as “unacceptable” and the fine of N50,000 imposed on any member who defaults in paying the tax as “outrageous.”

Government had through a letter dated November 12, 2015, marked EK/MRDA/11/78 and signed by the Commissioner for Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, Michael Ayodele, communicated its desire to impose the tax of N1,000 per trip which it described as “haulage fee.”

The letter reads in part: “The meeting deliberated on the current financial position of Ekiti State vis-à-vis the need to provide social amenities for citizens.



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