The Federal Inland Revenue Service on Wednesday shut the operational headquarters of HFP Engineering Nigeria Limited in Ajah area of Lagos State over unsettled tax liabilities of N536m.
Members of staff of the company were ordered out of the office located at Globe House, Plot 0-17B, Road 8, Victoria Garden City, Lagos.
The FIRS enforcement unit, led by Anita Erinne, also sealed Meditarian Nigeria Limited at 243, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, which has a tax debt of over N4bn from 2008 to 2013, according to a statement by the agency .
An official of the company, one Mr. Raja, said he was not aware of the debt and called on one Mr. Kola to attend to the FIRS team. Kola admitted that the firm owed the amount and pleaded for time to pay it.
“We have been in discussions with your office in Abuja over the matter,” he said.
However, the FIRS officials were not persuaded by the plea and sealed the company at 2:30pm.
Also affected was Dimension Data of Block 235, Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. The company has tax liabilities in excess of N540m, according to the FIRS.
Top officials of the company were said to be unavailable when the office was sealed at 1:30pm.
The same fate befell Sirius Energy Resources, located on 209, Muri Okunola Street. The company allegedly owes N11m in taxes.
Erinne told female employee in the company’s administrative department to inform their colleagues to vacate the premises within 10 minutes.
The enforcement team also visited NICON Hotel in the VGC after it was informed that Global Fleet, an alleged tax-defaulting company owned by Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, was operating from there.
But the hotel was not sealed. This was after Ibrahim came out to explain to the team that Global Fleet was currently being managed by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria.
“AMCON has taken over for now and there is a court order on that. As soon as it is waived, after we have resolved with AMCON, we will call you concerning the liabilities,” Ibrahim told the FIRS team, adding that Global Fleet was operating from its Marina headquarters and not the Hotel.
At TSL Logistics Limited, located on No. 1, Coker Road, Ilupeju, a member of staff of the company put up a spirited effort to persuade the team not to seal the office. The man, who identified himself as Wale, said the company did not owe the N724m ascribed to it by the FIRS, given that it submitted a credit note of N211m to the agency on Tuesday.
Erinne, however, insisted that the document from her office indicated a tax debt of N724m against the firm, and ordered that the office be sealed at 4.25pm.