Nigeria's Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has arrested executives of UTC, Pivot Engineering, Reliance Telecommunications, Entertainment Highway, HITV, John Holt and Sweet Sensation for allegedly failing to remit N2.17 billion in taxes. In a statement, the FIRS Director of Communications said that the effort is aimed at recovering arrears of taxes - Company Income Tax (CIT), Education Tax (EDT), Withholding Tax (WHT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) - due to the government. He also pointed out that the companies had been served many notices to pay outstanding tax liabilities.
The statement said that the amounts due to the FIRS are: Pivot Engineering, N610m; Reliance Telecommunications, N593m; HITV: N310m and UTC, N278m; Sweet Sensation, N155m Entertainment Highway Limited, N197m and John Holt, N33m.
The statement said, “However, some of the companies had admitted their outstanding tax liabilities when the enforcement team called at their offices. For instance, Mr. Opedemowo Olayemi, the Chief Accountant of Sweet Sensation Confectionary Limited, said the company was owing N60 million for VAT alone. Also, Mr. Dada Arokoyu of UTC and Mr. Muyiwa Fojude of Pivot agreed that their companies had outstanding tax liability to settle with the FIRS.
“Similarly, when the team visited HITV Ltd, Entertainment Highway Ltd and Reliance Communications Ltd, their offices were under lock and key, but security at the gates attended to the enforcement team. At HITV and Entertainment the team was told that the GTBank sealed off the premises following a court order. Reliance Communication was sealed upon the directive of the Chairman of the company."
“The arrest is a warning to other organisations and individuals on the need to ensure deductions and remittance of their tax obligation as provided by Part V1, Section 40 of the FIRS Establishment Act 2007."
"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
OMOTAYO, J. A. Lagos, NIGERIA May 14, 2012
We shall soon get there. Where? When blood of Nigerians will be demanded all in the name of revenue generation. Since 2006 when Mr. Soludo introduced the magical banking theory called banks consolidation under very high interest rate regime (26% - 33%) coupled with high income tax on profit regime (37%), and high cumulative other taxes (11% - 13%), I have been warning that companies and individuals who do not benefit from looted and illegal political funds, through contracts, would default.
I stated many times that the Nigerian business environment was destructive to local industries and individuals. I have warned many times that planting flowers in streets was a mere fantasy, and would not contribute to national development. I advised many times that government must first address basic needs of man: food, shelter & clothing.
And that it was wrong and unconstitutional for government to increase salary (whether labour or politicians) astronomically for less than 10% of the population while the majority 90% who should be production are unable to eat three times a day. The FIRS must brace up for more arrests and prosecution to fill up all the rooms in our prisons and detention centres. When virtually all the companies in Nigeria close down, the drivers of the Nigerian economy will come to their senses that for too long, the policy thrust of government has been anti-progressive and disastrous. Until then, God save Nigeria.