The Enugu State Board of Internal Revenue (BIR) has given insight into why it carried out a distrainment exercise on four banks and two other private firms, located in Enugu metropolis and Nsukka, on Tuesday, after obtaining Court Orders.
Speaking to newsmen immediately after the exercise, the board’s Director of Back Duty Audit, Mr. Edwin Iyidiobi disclosed that the affected companies were distrained for non-payment of taxes due to the state government, totaling over N200 million.
The business establishments according to him, include Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Plc; Sterling Bank Plc; Unity Bank Plc; Heritage Bank Ltd; Robertson Nig. Ltd and Paladium Hotels Ltd.
Iyidiobi further disclosed that the companies were owing the state the following amounts: GTB (N46m); Sterling Bank (72.2m); Unity Bank (N22m); Heritage Bank (53.8m); Robertson Nig. Ltd (3.1m) and Paladium Hotels Ltd (N3m), totaling over N200 million.
The Director stated that the distrainment exercise became imperative “after several failed appeals to these companies that are indebted to us”, adding that “they did not comply with our request and of course being law abiding citizens we had to ask for court’s assistance”.
He maintained that the exercise followed due process and was successful, saying: “We got Court Orders to seal off the affected companies, and distrain them until they pay what they owe the state government”.
Iyidiobi further explained that the taxes being owed the state government by the affected companies were in form of “unpaid PAYE; under-remitted PAYE; under-remitted Withholding Tax; under-remitted Development Levy and interests and penalties charged on the under-remitted taxes as provided by the law”.
While emphasizing the board’s need to raise sufficient funds for the execution of state government’s development projects, Mr. Iyidiobi therefore, urged the defaulters to comply with their civic responsibilities by paying the outstanding taxes for the overall benefit of the people of the state.