Saturday, June 10, 2023

BIRS insists Jos Disco owes N433 million

Jos Disco wants the BIRS to swap the said total tax liability it was owing by deducting it from the Benue state government’s indebtedness to the disco.

• June 11, 2022
Benue Internal Revenue Service
Benue Internal Revenue Service (BIRS)

Benue Internal Revenue Service (BIRS) insists that the Jos Electricity Distribution Company is owing the board the sum of N433.1 million in accumulated taxes.

This is contained in a press statement on Saturday signed by Suswam Terhemba, Media Assistant to the board Chairman, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makurdi.

According to the statement, the company is indebted to BIRS to the tune of N433,104,395.00 in accumulated taxes.

The statement further stated that BIRS had sealed up the administrative offices of JED in Makurdi, Gboko and Otukpo, sighting a court order against the company by the state High Court.

According to the statement, the Service outrightly objected to the request by JED for the swapping of their tax liabilities, as their request had no provision in the law.

The statement further stated that if JED had incontrovertible evidence against the position of the service as claimed, they should tender such evidence before the court of law.

“JED Plc is indebted to BIRS in unpaid accumulated taxes of PAYE/Withholding taxes and levies amounting to N433,104,395.00 million.

“The distrain by sealing of the company by BIRS was with a valid court warrant obtained on the 13th April, 2022 at the State High Court after exhausting all forms of diplomacy with the company.

“The operations of BIRS is strongly guided by law, and the revenue administration law of the state has no provision for debt swap or swapping of tax liabilities,” said the statement.

The statement added the affected offices would remain sealed until the company defrayed the tax liabilities or the court warrant was vacated by a court of competent jurisdiction.

The statement said all sealed premises did not affect the transmission and distribution of electricity by the company, as the service was mindful so as not to throw the state into darkness.

The management of Jos Electricity Distribution Plc had earlier refuted the allegations of tax default levelled against it by BIRS.

Its Head, Corporate Communications, Friday Adakole Elijah, in a statement said the company was not owing BIRS such a “humongous amount of money being claimed by the Chairman.”

Mr Elijah claimed that the company had remitted its PAYE, adding that “there is incontrovertible evidence to show that Jos Electricity Distribution Plc has been remitting their PAYE to the Board Account Number – Union Bank 0025168481.”

He said the two bodies had earlier mandated their tax consultants to ascertain the true situation of things adding that Jos Electricity was represented by “Sanstone Associates Ltd.”

He said consultants of both entities met for six weeks and reconciled, stating that the figure of ₦156,515,414.47 was arrived at on the 23rd February.

Mr Ejilah further said Benue State government’s indebtedness to the Jos Disco as at December 31, 2021, was ₦157,943,414.14.

He said the company had pleaded with the Board to swap the said total tax liability by deducting it from the state government’s indebtedness to the company.


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