Following the expiration of the seven-day ultimatum issued by the Osun State Internal Revenue Service to private organizations and public establishments to pay up their tax arrears, the revenue agency has shut down the Obafemi Awolowo University OAU, Ile-Ife for owing N1.8 billion tax.
Led by a top official of the agency, Mr. Oladipo Babatunde, the university was shut by official of the Revenue Task Force around 7:00 on Wednesday morning.
It was gathered that the Senate Building, the Administrative Block and the Bursary were part of the facilities the agency sealed off before proceeding to the university main gate to put it under lock and key.
Other tax defaulting establishments including a construction company, Sammiya Construction Company and a money lending company, LAPO Agric located along Gbongon/Ibadan Road, Osogbo apart from apart from the OAU were sealed off by the officials of the agency.
Speaking on the closure, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Tax Matters and Revenue Generation, Barr. Gbenga Akano, disclosed that OAU owed the state government about N1.8 billion, saying the state government had no choice than to seal the university after its management refused to meet up with the governement deadline for payment.
According to him, the money owed by the institution is outstanding unremitted PAYE withholding taxes and developments levy which he said had become due and payable since year 2015 and 2016.
He said: “It is callous and act of wickedness for any organization to refuse to pay taxes. We are all know that the state is suffering from financial malaria because of the meager in the Federal allocation orchestrated by the current economic recession.
“The Federal allocation is not sufficient not only to run government but also to meet the financial obligations of the State. We had earlier issued all the affected establishments seven-day ultimatum which was even given a wide media coverage and we expect every responsible organisations to come to us for dialogue.