By Matthew Denis
The Kwara Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS) yesterday, confirmed the receipt of money from the Federal Mortgage Bank, being part payment from the N14.7 million owed the state government as tax.
Speaking to Pilot Business, the Head of Corporate Affairs KWIRS, Mrs Habibah Aiyelabegan, who refused to disclose the amount paid, said the bank wrote to pay up the outstanding debt instalmentally.
It would be recalled that the revenue agency had on Monday sealed off the office of the bank located along Asa Dam road, Ilorin over tax default.
KWIRS also in January sealed two branches of Skye bank in Ilorin over non-remittance of N30m.
The Head of legal and Enforcement Unit, KWIRS, Mr. Lukman Mustapha who led the operation was escorted by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force to the premises as early as 7am.
Staffers of the bank were seen loitering g around the area as they were prevented from gaining entrance into the bank premises by the security agents.
Speaking on the development, Mustapha said ” We are enforcing the law against tax defaulter, Federal Mortgage Bank. They are indebted to the tune of about N14.7 million, which covers the period of 2010 to 2015.
He added that the bank failed to remit money deducted from staff salary (payee) during the said period.
Mustapha explained that the bank had been served statutory notice, which the bank failed to respond to but filed application in court and got judgment in May 2017.
On the next line of action he said, ” We’re hoping that the bank will comply by clearing the debt immediately otherwise some steps will be taken to recover our money.
“The most important thing is that we are trying to maintain the relationship we have with tax payers since we are existing because of them,” he further said.
The Head of the enforcement unit however advised other institutes and corporate organisations in the state to pay their tax as and when due to avoid the law taking its course against them.
For Mr Akinola Akinwumi, the Chief Executive Officer of A-Z Boutique his journey in the business world was laced with challenges.
According to him, a major problem forced him to embrace his present line of business.
He said: “I never initially went out for this business; I was into wrist watch repair. But the construction of flyover at post office in Ilorin years back, forced me to abandon it, as we were asked to relocate from there by the state government.
“I started this boutique with nothing as nobody in my family was ready to assist me. I had no option than to take loan, which I repaid for almost two years,” he narrated.
He said the business grew in leaps and bound within a short while, adding, “I was able to build my own shops and have five employees on my pay roll.”
Akinola, who noted that there is no shortcut to success, admonished youths to explore their latent potentials for economic gain.
“Where most people miss it is the inability to discover themselves. Stop following trends because it will get you nowhere. Just discover yourself,” he advised. The Chief Executive Officer of Lahn Furniture Company, Mr. Nurudeen Raji, has said Kwara State could derive three quarter of its income from company tax.
In an interview with Pilot Business in Ilorin on Tuesday, he urged the state government to revive moribund companies in the state.
According to Raji, “About three quarter of Lagos State Internal Generated Revenue comes from company taxes as this has brought the state to lime light as far as infrastructural developmental is concern.
“I think Kwara State Government too can borrow a leaf from this initiative. The only route towards economic growth of any state is through pragmatic fiscal policy implementation, which the Kwara State Government has been doing well judging from the outstanding performance of its revenue agent, the KWIRS over the years.
“I think what we lack is the political will on the part of the government. Revamping these moribund industries no doubt will go a long way to provide jobs for our people and will bring about economic emancipation of Kwara state.
Raji said this would bring income to the government and standard of living of an average Kwaran will equally be improved.
“For over two decades now, Bacita Sugar Company has been in comatose, Paper mill too, paper converter Erin-Ile also, and other industries that keep Kwara booming in the 80s have all gone moribund’.
“I believe the state government can do well toward making those companies to come to life again.
“Kwara State has lots of untapped resources which require staunch legislation to get them tapped”. “Look at the initiative behind Shonga farm project; we need similar initiatives in the other sectors of the state”.