From Francis Nansak, Lafia
No fewer than Twenty privately owned schools within the corridors of the Federal Capital Territory at Masaka of Kari local government area of Nasarawa state,had been sealed.
The action was taken by the authorities of the Nasarawa Internal Revenue Service ( NSIRS) following an assessment of the revenue service on compliant with taxes as demanded by the revenue office in the state.
Distraining the schools in the area was jointly carried out by a task forced operation which included men of the Nigerian Police and official of the state mobile court recently set up by the state government.
Leader of the jointed taskforce Mrs Patience Efona who is the area tax officer in charged of Masaka, told newsmen in an interview that the exercise was carried out after an invitation to the schools owner for a dialogue which was not adhered to by the private schools owners.
Mrs Efona further said their action and inactions prompted the revenue service to seek for a court summoned ,which was served to the various schools.
According to her out of One Hundred of the schools served with the court order,twenty refused to honour the court summoned while others were at the court but never returned to do the needful as demanded of them regarding the payment of their personal income tax and their staff strength to ascertained if they have complied with the Pay as You Earned(PAYE) records.
” So we have today obtained a court order to sealed the schools premises until when they come to our office to pay the necessary taxes as demanded in out revenue Act of section 104 of 2011 as amended.
” We are not witch hunting anybody but seeking clearance from them on remittance of their taxes, which will not have forced them to pay if they had honoured the invitation served them to say they are not making gains but losses.
” We are not after those losing out of business,we are all humans but their failure to meet our demands and paying up the tax,they have become court defaulters. And that sands that even after paying our requirements within Seven day, they will need to go to the court and pay a fine before their schools can be reopen” She said.
Reacting the principal of Josam academy,Mr Saando Martins, confirmed to the receipt of the letters of both invitation and court summoned but however added that while all letter were transmitted to his principal which he thought the issue at stake was taken care of,but pleaded that the school should not be locked and key.
He said he will communicate the proprietor in order to ensured compliant with the state revenue law.
The AUTHORITY report that while the joint task force continued with the sealing of the schools those affected as at the time of filing this report includes Pennas Intnl School,Learning Brains, Jankanwa, Academy, Angels Academy Treasure Land School,New Nyanya and Josam Academy among others all within Masaka of Kari LGA.