The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Wednesday, stepped up its tax enforcement efforts, sealing off two oil services companies in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The affected companies, Cetco Oilfield Services Company, located in the Trans-Amadi area of the city, and Aquashield Oil and Marine Services Limited, have tax liabilities of N9.7 million and N49million respectively.
At Cetco Olifield, the Procurement Manager, Edotimi Ebikefe, begged for more time to enable the company pay up, explaining that it has already commenced the payment of its tax debt.
“We are not saying that we won’t pay. But the way things are right now, we finding it difficult. Let them give us some time. If we don’t work, we cannot pay what we are owing,” he pleaded.
Leader of the FIRS team, Umar Bukar Gana, said the enforcement drive was necessary because of the indifference of some of the companies to tax payment. Gana explained that this has persisted despite many attempts to ensure compliance
“Before this enforcement exercise, government had made a lot of entreaties to them, but they have repeatedly defaulted and we have no option but to do what we have just done,” he said.
He added that the sealing of the two companies will serve a deterrent to other companies which default in tax payment. Gana said that until the taxes are paid, the companies will remain shut.