By Victor Ahiuma-Young, Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Deborah Omojuwa
abuja—FEDERAL Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, has sealed off of the corporate headquarters of Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, over unremitted taxes.
Though details of the tax liability were still sketchy during press time, it was gathered that the workers were locked out of the premises of TCN situated at Maitama area of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.
However an official of FIRS told Vanguard that the organization was doing its normal tax administration work.
According to him, “the TCN has agreed on a payment plan for agreed outstanding, while the balance is to be reconciled.”
Reacting to the development, National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, through its General Secretary, Joe Ajaero, called for the immediate resolution of the issue because of the sensitive nature of TUC to power supply in the country.
In a statement, NUEE said it expected TCN not to have defaulted in its lawful responsibility in the remittance of tax in any form, declaring among others that due to ”the sensitivity of power sector to the socio-economic development of this nation and the critical role TCN plays in this regard.
”It beats our imagination that a flawless process was not followed to advert this development regrettably, TCN and FIRS are agencies of the same federal government. The negative impact of the seal off is highly unimaginable and speaks volumes to be ignored by the supervising ministries. It is therefore our hope that government will wade in and arrest this unholy development.
”Consequently, Government and the public should please take note of the seeming blackout that looms since our members are prevented from carrying out their lawful duties in the service of providing power to the country.
”While this impasse lasts, our members are directed to stay in their respective homes since they have been locked out by an agency of government. We may be compelled to use all legal means available to us to drive home our point, if the situation is not urgently arrested.”
Meanwhile, members of Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, SSAEAC, have threatened to shut down TCN over alleged unfair practices.
The group is demanding the sack of the Managing Director of TCN, Usman Mohammed oveunfair labour practices, among others, threatening to paralyse the power supply in the country if the MD was not relieved of his position.
The protesting workers and members of SSAEAC who protested yesterday displayed several placards of different inscriptions accusing the MD of flouting most administrative procedures.
Speaking, General Secretary of SSAEAC, Umar Abubakar, accused the TCN MD of single- handedly conducting promotion examinations for staff without recourse to input from other management staff.
SSAEAC said: “To prove his incompetence, FIRS has sealed off our office over tax default, how can a responsible MD claim to be in charge and this is happening.”
Some of the placards had inscriptions like, “we say no to tax fraud, “sack UG Mohammed now to guarantee hope for power sector, “no to nepotism”, among others.