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FIRS shuts businesses in Lagos, Abuja over tax payment default  

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has continued its tax compliance exercise in Abuja and Lagos, on Wednesday by shutting the premises of defaulting companies. In Abuja, the FIRS team, led by Mr.  Chinazor Edeh, shut down the office of Taleveras, an energy firm operating from the Maitaima area of the city. 

The affected company is said to owe over N667 million in tax liabilities.

Before sealing off the company, Edeh told its the Chief Security Officer, the highest ranking official available, the firm has failed pay the balance of its tax liabilities after it paid N50 million, following the sealing off of its premises in May.

Edeh explained that the FIRS was not interested in sealing off the company, but to ensure that the tax is paid.

But the CSO said the company is incapable of defraying the liabilities, as it has not been able to pay salaries.  Consequently, the enforcement team ordered the staff to vacate the premises and proceeded to seal off the company.

Also sealed by the enforcement team is Jardin Nigeria Limited, a landscaping/ project management company, with an office at Abuja’s Transcorp Hilton Hotel.

The company owes over N129million in taxes. An official of the company, who identified himself simply as Mr. Olu, admitted that the company owes, but argued that some state governments owe the company over N2 billion.

Edeh advised the company to pay 50 per cent of its tax liabilities and reach agreement with FIRS on a structured payment of the balance.

In Lagos, two companies were shut in the Ikeja area by the FIRS team, led by Anita Erinne.

First to be shut was Guarantee Petroleum Company, located at 21 Salvation Road, off Opebi Road. Though the company was open for business at the time the FIRS team got to the office, none of its officials attended to the FIRS team, which shut the premises over a tax debt of $13.26million. Next up was Capital Oil Plc, whose office at 43 Adeniyi Jones Avenue, was sealed over a tax debt of N81. 8million.

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