Ibadan – The Oyo State Government on Tuesday shut down Obasanjo Farms and 12 others for defaulting in the payment of environmental levy.
The business premises were shut by a combined team coordinated by the Oyo State Board of Internal Revenue.
Other companies shut were MRS Oil, Black Horse, Heinemann Educational Books, Lister Flour Mills, University Press Limited, Evans Brother and Brooking House.
Also shut were Group Medical Hospital, Butterfield Bakery, Chicken Republic and Rasmed Publicity.
Mr Bicci Alli, the Chairman of Oyo State Board of Internal Revenue, said the exercise was inevitable due to the failure of the affected firms to comply with the state’s tax laws after series of formal communication.
He stressed that the enforcement exercise would be continuous, warning all corporate organisations in the state to do the needful.
“The exercise we carried out today is not something new and not outside the law. It is within the law.
“We went to restrain some corporate organisations that failed to pay what is due to Oyo State Government after giving them due notices.
“So we went to those places to restrain them from having access to their premises and it’s going to be a continuous exercise, all through the week and even next week,” he said.
Alli said that the affected companies were guilty of not paying environmental development levy to the state, adding that some of them had defaulted for two years.
“We wrote to them and gave them notice to pay, but they refused to pay. It was as a result of their failure to pay that we now embarked on the needful.
“But it’s so sad that it is not until we have to take this step against the firms that they are now actually coming out to pay.
“Government is not interested in disrupting the business of these corporate organisations.
“ Our business as a government is to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and which we have done tremendously in the last few years.
“That is why you see businesses springing up on daily basis in the state. The government cannot disrupt their businesses unless where it is absolutely necessary,’’ he said.
NAN recalls that the team had on Monday shut 13 banks in the state for the same offence.
Among the banks affected were Diamond, Stanbic IBTC, Skye, FCMB, Heritage, Unity, Ecobank, UBA, Keystone, First Bank and Union Bank. (NAN)