Lafarge, 5 others shut down over tax debts

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In a renewed crackdown on companies with tax liabilities, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Monday shut down some defaulting companies in Lagos, Ibadan and Port Harcourt.

National Daily gathered that both offices of Lafarge Cement Limited and IGPES in Port Harcourt were sealed by an FIRS enforcement team led by Ruth Madeun over a tax combined debt of N1.077bn.

Lafarge was said to owe N10m, while IGPES owes N1.3 billion in education tax, withholding tax, company income tax; value added tax and late return penalty.

Mandeun explained that while IGPES stopped tax remittance between 2011 and 2015, Lafarge stopped in 2012. She warned that the FIRS would prosecute anybody who unseals the company premises if the tax liabilities are not settled.

“Breaking of our seals is a criminal offence and anybody involved in such an act will be prosecuted,” she warned.

Similar operations were carried out in Lagos. The FIRS enforcement team, led by Chinazor Edeh, shut down the premises of Dori Construction and Engineering Nigeria Limited at 901, Balarabe Musa Crescent, Victoria Island, over tax liabilities of N253m. Two company officials said they were not aware that the company had such a huge tax debt.

Earlier, the team had sealed off the office of Global Energy Nigeria Limited, located at 182b, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island. The company has tax liabilities totaling N13m, accumulated between 2010 and 2013. The company’s managing director blamed the firm’s failure to pay on the current inclement economic conditions.

But Edeh told him that Global Energy provided a payment plan, agreed to by the FIRS, which the company has failed to implement. He therefore ordered its premises shut at 11am.

The team then moved to Bono Energy at 19, Amodu Tijani Close, Victoria Island, where a male company official pleaded for time to pay a tax debt of N13m. But the plea was rejected and the company shut down.

The FIRS team in Ibadan, capital of Oyo state, shut down the premises of the Lebanese-owned Karmadex Nigeria Limited, a livestock company. Efforts by the management staff to ask for more time to enable it to pay the N12.3m it owes were futile, as the company was shut down.