Thursday, 21 May 2015

Anambra State govt. Seals-off 7 hotels, schools, others over tax evasion

...Laments Lost of Over 2.5 Billion to Tax Evasion
Anambra State Government , yesterday, sealed-off seven buildings in Awka including a school and a hotel over the owners’ refusal to pay property rate.
The affected buildings which are currently under lock and key included Choice Hotel Ltd., Netherland International School, Chris Moore lodge and residential buildings belonging to one Mr. Emeka Akaigwe, Mrs. Peace Okeke and Mr. Joachim Acho, all in Awka, the state capital.
Speaking to newsmen while barricading the buildings, the Head, Human Resources and Administration Anambra Property and Land Use Charge (APLUC), Mrs. Chinenye Okafor disclosed that APLUC chose to close the edifice following judgments it obtained from an Awka Magistrate court against the tax evaders.
Mrs. Okafor, who added that 80, 000 tax defaulters in the state owed the government over N2.5 billion while about 550 cases were still pending in various courts, further disclosed that over 4,000 summons have been prepared by the agency against tax defaulters but were yet to be filed in court.
She however, noted that the affected establishments owed the state government a total of N 1, 631, 610, even as she insisted that relevant agencies must pay so as to boosting Anambra State Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
“We are looking forward to enforcing judgments by next week in 14 communities in Obosi urban and places like Akpaka, Omoba phases I and II, GRA, Okpoko, Iyiowa, Nkwelle and 3-3 near Onitsha. Property owners in those areas as well as in Awka, Ogidi and Nnewi should better go and pay their property rates before next week or face the wrath of the law”, the APLUC boss pleaded.
But reacting in an interview, the CEO of Choice Hotel Ltd, one of the sealed-up establishment, Chief Ozoemensi Nwofor, queried the government for obstructing his business even though he had commenced payment of the property bill after due consultation with officers of APLUC.
“Why should Government adopt this obnoxious strategy to harass an individual trying to develop the town? It is disturbing and intimidating; we cannot go on with this type of development. If anybody owes and agreed to pay in installments, such person should not be harassed”, Nwofor said.



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