An MRS oil facility in the commercial hub of Nigeria - Lagos has been closed down by government officials over allegations of tax evasion.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service on Wednesday closed down an MRS Oil’s facility in Lagos over a tax debt amounting to N497.1m, an action the agency described as part of measures being taken against tax-defaulting companies in the country.
An enforcement team, led by Mrs. Anita Erinne, reportedly sealed off the premises of the MRS Oil and Gas Company Limited at 2,Tin Can Island Road, Apapa, Lagos.
But the company said through its accountant, who identified himself simply as Samson, that it had cleared the debt.
A statement by the FIRS said the chief security officer of the oil company ordered security guards to prevent the FIRS team from going beyond the reception area, leading to a two-hour argument during which the MRS Oil’s workers refused to vacate their offices as directed by the FIRS officials.
When the argument ended, Erinne ordered the main gates to the company to be sealed off.
“The team also visited Kaplan International College Limited situated at 1, Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island, which was also sealed over a N50.5m tax debt,” the statement added.
The enforcement team had, on Tuesday, shut the premises of Amyn Investment Limited, situated at 21/25 Broad Street, Lagos. The company is said to be indebted to the tune of N12.5m.
A similar fate befell Floorenzo West Africa Limited, situated at 6, Boyle Street, Lagos, which owes N310m, it stated. The FIRS gave the names of others affected by the closure as the FDHL, situated at 9/11, Osborne Terrace House, Udi Street, Osborne Ikoyi, said to own N22.3m; and Nadabo Energy Limited, whose debt was given as N24.9m.
The enforcement team of the FIRS had last month sealed off four companies in Lagos and Port Harcourt for reportedly failing to meet their tax obligations totalling N630m.
Erinne had told the defaulting firms that the companies’ premises would be unsealed when they cleared their outstanding tax bills.
She warned the workers not to unseal or tamper with the FIRS seal until the debts were cleared and warned that any attempt to remove the seal would be a contravention of the law.