22nd January, 2018
The Bayelsa Board of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Monday sealed off the office of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Yenagoa over alleged non-remittance of N168 million Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax liability.
The building was earlier sealed off in June 2017 when the liability was N336 million, with the NDDC paying half of the sum leaving the balance unpaid.
The Director of Compliance, Mr Robert Lokoson, who led the enforcement team, said the government was compelled to act following the failure of the NDDC to keep to the agreement to offset the debt in two instalments.
“Sometime in June 2017, the board was forced to levy a warrant of distrain ( Order of court to compel payment) on NDDC in view of a tax debt for 2008-2014 totalling N336 million.
“Following the intervention by stakeholders and a meeting between the board and the NDDC, we graciously suspended destrain with provision that the liability will be cleared in two tranches of N168 million within two months.
“Sadly after the first tranche was paid in July 2017, the NDDC has refused to clear the last tranche of N168 million five months later.
“It is this intransigent attitude that has compelled the board to re-levy the distrain and recover the outstanding N168 million,” Lokoson said.
Meanwhile, staff of the NDDC who were forced out of their offices, wondered why the commission could not remit the taxes deducted from their salaries.
The Bayelsa representative on the NDDC board, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, was not available when the team visited for the tax drive.