The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) team, led by Anita Erinne, on Monday, sealed up Capital Oil Plc located at 28 Creek Road Apapa, Lagos State.
The Energy Company owned by businessman, Ifeanyi Ubah, was shut down following alleged N30million tax evasion.
The management of Capital Oil made efforts to pay the money immediately, but the banks had closed for the day.
The enforcement team said they had no choice other than to shut down the company pending when the needful is done.
The FIRS also visited some other defaulting companies along same Lagos Apapa axis.
The team visited offices of Folawiyo Energy Trading Company and MAKON Engineering and Technical Services Limited, which the FIRS alleged owes about N450million and N26 million respectively in company tax.
The companies were however not sealed up after the management of Folawiyo Energy Trading Company claimed that the company only owed tax from the previous year (2015), while Chief Financial Officer of MAKON Engineering, Lanre Anafi, promised to commence payment of its company debt immediately.
Erinne urged the companies to immediately clear their debts at their Ikoyi office.
FIRS did not limit its enforcement exercise to Lagos Apapa axis alone, as it went ahead to shut down City Chef Restaurant, De Mange Eatery House and Comet Hotels and Conference Hall, in Owerri, Imo State, which are said to be owing in company taxes.
The FIRS team in Owerri, led by Mr. Chinazo Udeh, told newsmen that all due processes laid down by the enforcement agency were exhausted before the companies were shut down.
“We assessed and gave them notice of what they owe as tax. They did not respond to our communication. This was followed up with two separate reminders. Thereafter, a demand notice was sent to them with all these largely ignored. After the expiration of the one month window following the final notice, we were left with no option but to enforce the law.”
According to Udeh, De Mange eatery has a tax liability of N20million, while City Chef and Comet Hotel and Conference Hall owe N2.1million and N2.3million respectively.
He added that though the company lawyer to Comet Hotel & Conference had rushed down to make a part payment of N70, 000, it was not enough reason to unseal the hotel.
“They just decided to pay N70, 000 out of a tax liability of N2.3m. That does not show seriousness. As a matter of fact, the money they just paid is a penalty for an earlier contravention for late registration. They have paid nothing on the Value Added Tax obligations. In any case, the order to seal this place came from our head office, the order to unseal will also come from there,” said Udeh.
In its effort to ensure companies pay their taxes, the FIRS had recently and consistently gone after companies who were evading company taxes including the shutting down of NICON Luxury Hotel and the NICON Insurance Plc in may this year.