Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The Enugu State Government on Friday sealed the premises of 16 corporate institutions including Schools, Hotels and Consulting firms in parts of Enugu over failure to pay taxes.
The areas the Internal Revenue Service, IRS, carried out the operation are New Heaven area, Abakpa Nike area, Trans Ekulu area and Gariki area.
Mr Emmanuel Nnamani, Chairman of the State Internal Revenue Service (ES-IRS) disclosed this while briefing Newsmen on the operation which was the first under the present administration in the state.
Nnamani said the IRS decided to embark on the exercise following the refusal of owners and management of the businesses to respond to the government repeated letters and remainders.
“We have wrote to them severally (sic) but they thought it was business as usual.
“So, we approached the court and the court gave us authority to seal the premises,” he said.
He said that companies and businesses in Enugu State since 2015 have not been paying taxes to the state, amounting to millions of naira.
Nnamani said that has been the reason why people are finding it hard to pay tax under the current administration.
“Those who pay tax in Enugu State are not up to 10 per cent. We are losing huge amounts of money to tax defaulters,” he said.
According to him, the current government in the state was determined to provide amenities for the people using the internally generated revenue.
“The government recently flagged off construction of 71 roads in the state capital and we need money to execute all these projects.
“If people don’t pay their taxes where do we get money to execute people-oriented projects.
“I want our people to understand this and cooperate with us in the interest of the state,” Nnamani said.
The IRS chairman noted that tax is a contribution by citizens and residents to the development of the society.
He urged the people to join hands with the government to develop the state by paying their taxes.
“I can assure you that at the end of this administration Enugu State will not be the same again,” he said.
He added that the present administration had achieved over 200 per cent in the past seven months of the administration.