The action, taken on Wednesday, affected the IBEDC Headquarters in Ring Road, its offices at Mobil, off Ring Road; Dugbe; Ojoo/Iwo Road and Monatan.
The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Olatubosun, explained in a statement that before taking the action, the government had approached the High Court of Justice in Ibadan to seek an order to seal off the premises of IBEDC in order to enforce payment, as provided for in Section 45 (3&4) of the Revenue Administration Law of Oyo State.
This came about because the company had been ignoring bills served it by the men of the Oyo State Board of Internal Revenue Service for the past two years.
Olatunbosun debunked the news that the state sealed off the IBEDC offices in Ibadan because the company disconnected the state Secretariat, saying such report was not only false but also misleading.
The Commissioner stated: “The break-down of the accumulated bills is as follows: Harmonised bills (N139,440,000.
00), Infrastructure bills (N122,590,000.
00), Tax Audit bills (N116,516,111.
41), and Signage bill (N22,000,000.
All totalling N400,546,111.
Olatunbosun disclosed that the IBEDC’s indifference towards the settlement of the bill necessitated the locking and sealing of its major offices in the state, adding that the company had never, in any of its communication with the government revenue agency, objected to the claim of the figure owed.
He emphasised that it is important for everyone to remember that it is the duty of all, individuals and businesses, to pay taxes and levies, without which the government cannot provide basic amenities 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,” the Commissioner said.
The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), on its part, while speaking through the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mr John Ayodele, in a statement, condemned what it described as “arm-twisting” tactics of the Oyo State Government in shutting down its (IBEDC) offices under the guise of tax default.
Ayodele said the Oyo State Government began the sealing of her offices within the state over some suddenly contrived debts labelled revenue bills and personal income, without due notification, accusing the government of embarking on the move in retaliation for cutting off electricity supply to the state Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
The COO noted that the company took the decision to disconnect the state Secretariat as a result of the failure of the state government to pay its outstanding debt of N450million which had piled up over the last three years, explaining that the company, as part of efforts to get the outstanding paid, initiated several engagements through correspondences and physical meetings, but all the efforts yielded no result.
He said: “No business in this country can run successfully with such a huge outstanding.
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 damaging effect on the business and service delivery to our customers.
Ayodele however appealed to Governor Seyi Makinde to look into the matter in the interest of all concerned, noting that the situation, if not addressed immediately, would further exarcerbate the power challenges and pressure on residents and commercial activities within the state.
Oyo Government seals Electricity Distribution Company offices over tax default