By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—THE Edo State Board of Internal Revenue, Monday, sealed off the Federal Government-owned multi-billion dollars Independent Power Project, IPP, over alleged failure of the company handling the project, Marubeni Engineering West African Limited, to remit its Pay As You Earn, PAYE, for both the expatriate staff and Nigerian employees in the company, estimated at over N53million.
It will be recalled that the IPP in Edo State was one of the seven Independent Power Projects established during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
However, the state government complained that since 2006 that the project commenced in the state, the company handling the project had failed to remit its PAYE to the state coffers.
The Chairman of the State Board of Internal Revenue, Dr Ese Owie, who briefed newsmen shortly after the plant was sealed up, said they decided to take the action after all efforts made to ensure that the company complied with the law failed.
He added that the Board’s action was in pursuant to the power vested on it by the Personal Income Tax of 1993.
According to him, “their action was an attempt to defraud the state government and that plant will remain sealed until they pay in full what they are owing the state government. And I want to say that the Board remains resolute in our commitment to enforce full compliance with the Personal Income Tax and we are warning all corporate establishments in the state to make good their liabilities before the end of this year.
“The Board will in December vigorously clamp down on all defaulting tax payers especially corporate bodies in the state,” he warned.