Benue Internal Revenue Service insists Jos Disco owes N433m –

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The Benue Internal Revenue Service insists Jos Electricity Distribution Company Plc owes the council N433.1 million in accrued tax.

This was contained in a press release issued on Saturday by Suswam Terhemba, media assistant to the chairman of the board.

According to Makurdi’s statement, the company owes BIRS N433,104,395.00 in cumulative taxes.

The statement further said that BIRS had sealed the administrative offices of JED Plc in Makurdi, Gboko and Otukpo, citing a court order against the company by the state High Court.

According to the statement, the Service adamantly opposed JED Plc’s request for the exchange of their tax obligations as their request had no provision in the law.

The statement further stated that if JED Plc had compelling evidence against the service’s position as claimed, they should present that evidence in court.

He said: “JED Plc owes BIRS unpaid accrued taxes of PAYE/withholding and levies in the amount of N433,104,395.00 million.

“The seizure by sealing of the company by BIRS was done with a valid court warrant obtained on April 13, 2022 from the State High Court after exhausting all forms of diplomacy with the company.

“BIRS’ operations are strongly guided by law, and the State Tax Administration Act makes no provision for the swapping of debts or the exchange of tax debts.”

The statement added that the affected offices would remain sealed until the company pays the tax debts or the court warrant is overturned by a competent court.

The statement said any sealed premises did not affect the company’s transmission and distribution of electricity, as the utility was careful not to plunge the state into darkness.

The management of Jos Electricity Distribution Plc had previously denied the allegations of default made against it by BIRS.

Its director of corporate communications, Dr. Friday Adakole Elijah, said in a statement that the company does not owe BIRS such a “colossal sum of money claimed by the President”.

Elijah in the statement claimed the company had remitted his PAYE, adding: ‘There is compelling evidence that Jos Electricity Distribution Plc remitted his PAYE to council account number – Union Bank 0025168481.’

He said the two bodies had previously instructed their tax advisers to verify the true state of affairs, adding that Jos Electricity was represented by Sanstone Associates Limited.

He said the consultants of the two entities met for six weeks and reconciled, stating that the figure of N156,515,414.47 was reached on February 23, 2022.

Ejilah further stated that Benue State Government’s debt to Jos Disco as of December 31, 2021 was N157,943,414.14.

He said the company had pleaded with the board to exchange said total tax debt against the state government’s debt to the company.

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