An agricultural farm belonging to former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, located at Oluyole Industrial Estate in Ibadan has been reportedly sealed off by the Oyo state government over tax default.
Nigerian Tribune reports that the farm was sealed off on Tuesday, September 18, as well some other companies.
The Oyo state Board of Internal Revenue team carried out the operation The State Board of Internal Revenue (OYBIR), Bicci Alli, said the operation was necessary following series of communication to the affected companies without compliance.
Alli said: “The exercise we carried out today (Tuesday) is not something new and not outside the law. It is within the law. We went to restrain some corporate organizations that failed to pay what is due to Oyo state government after giving due notices, demand notices and even public notices to that effect and they failed to pay.
“So we went to those places to restrain them from having access to their premises and it’s going to be a continuous exercise, all through the week and even next week.
“What they are guilty of is the payment of the environmental development levy. Some of them owe about two years. We wrote to them and gave them notices to pay, they refused to pay. It was as a result of their failure to pay that we now embarked on the needful.
“But it’s so sad that not until we have to take this step against the firms that they are now actually coming out to pay.
“Government is not interested in disrupting the business of these corporate organisations, the business of government is to create an enabling environment for business to thrive which Oyo state government has done tremendously well in the last few years and that’s why you see businesses springing up on daily basis in Oyo state. The government cannot disrupt their businesses unless where it is absolutely necessary.
“The focus now is that we will collect every kobo that people are owing the state government, we did publication on August 13, in two widely read newspapers, drawing the attention of corporate organisations and individual residents of Oyo state to pay all their taxes, dues and levies that are supposed to pay to the state government within 14 days.
“But that was like a reminder, prior to that: we served demand notices in line with extant laws on corporate organisations, individuals to pay their taxes. Some of the taxes are due early January, February, March, depending on the position of the law. However, when they failed to pay, we did the reminder in line with the position of the law and we now did a public notice on 14th August, giving them 14 days to be able to pay. So, nobody could tell us that they were not informed.”
Meanwhile, a new book has revealed how ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo ran the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as a “sole administrator” for the eight years he led the country.
The Cable reports that the book titled: “Too Good to Die: Third Term and the Myth of the Indispensable Man in Africa”, said that while serving as minister of petroleum resources, the former president never discussed activities of the corporation with government officials until his last days in office.
Obasanjo, who was president from 1999 to 2007, made himself the minister overseeing the nation’s petroleum sector until January 2007, when he relinquished that position. It was gathered that the only official Obasanjo had in a similar capacity was Edmund Daukoru, his presidential adviser on petroleum and energy, whom he later made minister of state for petroleum resources in 2005.