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Tax defauting Banks sealed in Ibadan as Government vows continued enforcement

Abiola Kolawole, Ibadan

Many bank customers were today, in Ibadan, Oyo State Capital, stranded with disappointment from their banks after the Oyo State Board of Internally-Generated Revenue sealed many banks in Ibadan for refusing to comply with tax exercise.
A combined task force team of the Oyo State Inter-ministerial Enforcement Unit on Monday swoop on the financial institutions to enforce tax compliance.
Oyo State Board of Internal Revenue (OYBIR), the coordinating agency for collecting all government revenues had last month issued a 14 day ultimate to all tax payers in the state to pay up all outstanding dues and levies to the coffers of government.
A source hinted that about two weeks after the expiration of the 14 days, the OYBIR had also written letters to remind the affected banks without response from the banks until the enforcement.
Banking activities were paralyzed at the erring banks as early as 9am after 20 different branches of different banks were shut with sealed notices placed on them. 

The affected banks included, Diamond, Stanbic IBTC, Skye, FCMB, Heritage located in different areas of the city among which are Dugbe, Mokola, Idi-Ape, Agodi Gate, Secretariat Road, Challenge, Jericho, Bodija, UI among others. 
No sooner had the task force team arrived the banks than the officials of the affected banks started running helter skelter around to tidy up their papers to save losing the whole day’s business.
Some of the banks succeeded in making the necessary payment as fast as they could to resume operations, but were not lucky as they were making frantic efforts to get to the superior authority for further directive.
Sealed FCMB on Monday
A source within the government enforcement team said the affected banks defaulted in the payment of the annual environmental development levy.
The tax, which is paid to the coffers of the state government is said to be payment for the impact of the various business and corporate entities on the environment across the state.
 The affected banks were also said to have been found guilty for not paying for the duration ranging from 2015 to 2018, despite series of official communications and reminders to the management at different times.
The Chairman of the Board, Mr Bicci Alli had warned in the paid advertorial that the agency would embark on massive enforcement to seal up all erring corporate organisations on the expiration of the ultimatum.

Alli said, the enforcement team decided to focus on banks to serve as deterrent to other defaulting corporate organisations, adding that the exercise will continue.

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