By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN- Thousands of customers of two first generation banks in Edo State were stranded, yesterday, following the sealing up of the banks by Edo State Government officials over alleged withholding of taxes and refusal by the banks to remit Pay As You Earn, PAYE.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Board of Internal Revenue, Mr. Useni Elamah, said that the state Internally General Revenue, IGR, currently stands at N1.3 billion monthly. He expressed the resolve of the state government to increase the IGR to meet up with the developmental needs of the people.
Customers of the affected banks were stranded as the state revenue board insisted on remittance of taxes to government before their premises would be re-opened.
Elamah, who briefed newsmen on the situation, said: “We are only enforcing the law and if there is any bank or organisation that had remained recalcitrant, we will apply the same measure.
“The truth is that most of these organisations deliberately refused to pay their taxes even after we embarked on tax assessment drive and informed them of what they owed the government.
“Currently, we generate N1.3 billion monthly. But we want to improve because government wants to meet its obligation to the people. We are not witch-hunting anybody but people must learn to comply with their civic responsibilities. We are also urging individuals to comply to avoid embarrassment.”