. ‘Govt owes us N450M consumption bill’
The Oyo State Bureau of Internal Revenue Service (OSBIRS), said it sealed some offices of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), because of accumulated debt totalling over N400 million.
The State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun, said this in a statement after the offices were sealed yesterday.
However, in a quick response, IBEDC attributed the clamp down to its disconnection of power supply to the government offices including the Secretariat.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO), IBEDC, John Ayodele, in a counter-statement, instead insisted that the State Government owed it outstanding consumption of N450 million for over a period of three years.
But Olatubosun insisted that the IBEDC’s offices were sealed because of the outstanding debt and not because the company disconnected the government secretariat, adding that this has lingered for over two years.
He said the government had approached the High Court in Ibadan to seek an order to seal the distribution company (DisCo’s) offices.
He accused the DisCo of ignoring the bills served by OSBIRS officials in the last two years, saying the “accumulated bills as follows: Harmonised bills, N139,440,000.00, Infrastructure bills N122,590,000.00, Tax Audit bills N116,516,111.41 and Signage bills N22,000,000.00.”
He continued: “The company has never in any of their communications with the government revenue agency, objected to the claim of the figure owed.
“It is important for everyone to remember that it is the duty of all, individuals and businesses, to pay taxes and levies. Without these payments, the government cannot provide basic necessities and perform necessary functions.
“Therefore, IBEDC, like any other business interest, should do the needful and meet its revenue obligations.
“This is the stand of the government and we seek the understanding of the people not to be misled by those who trade in falsehood.”
No business in this country can run successfully with such a huge outstanding debt, the power we distribute to customers must be accounted for and paid for. We have no choice but to disconnect the Oyo State Secretariat.
However, Ayodele accused the State Government of retaliatory and illegal action “over the issue of its huge indebtedness.”
He said that after several futile efforts at recovering the debt owed by Oyo State, IBDEC was left with no option than to cut the power supply to the Government Secretariat at Agodi, Ibadan.
He said in the statement: “IBDEC as part of efforts to get the outstanding payment initiated several engagements through correspondences and physical meetings, but all these efforts yielded no result.
“No business in this country can run successfully with such a huge outstanding debt, the power we distribute to customers must be accounted for and paid for. We have no choice but to disconnect the Oyo state secretariat.
“So, it is worrisome to see that the government has sealed off our offices with this underhand and arm twisting tactics instead of paying the debt owed. This was not done in good faith and it would have a damaging effect on the business and service delivery to our customers.
“Oyo State Government on Wednesday 9 February, 2022, commenced the sealing of our offices within the state over some suddenly contrived debts labelled revenue bills and personal income without due notification. This issue of revenue bills and personal income arising now is quite suspicious.”