Osun To Prosecute OAU, Glo, 9mobile, Others Over N12billion Tax Debt

By Ismaeel Uthman

Osun state government has accused some corporate organisations and Federal Government agencies in the state of owing over  N12 billion in both corporate and income tax within the spate of 13 years.

The Special Adviser to the Osun State Government on Tax matters, Barrister Gbenga Akano disclosed this at a press conference in Osogbo.

He listed those tax defaulters to include: Globacom with N7,600,595,640.00 (Seven Billion, six hundred million, five hundred and ninety five thousand, six hundred and forty naira) 9 mobile with N882,448,475,00 (Eight hundred and eighty two million, four hundred and forty eight thousand, four hundred and forty eight naira) between the period of 2005 and 2017.

Others are: Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife with: N1,884,770,939,45 (One billion, Eight hundred and forty-four million, seven hundred and seventy thousand, nine hundred and thirty nine naira, forty-five kobo) between the period of 2015 and 2016.

Wetland Construction Nig. Ltd, N8,686,336.41 (Eight Million, six hundred and eighty six thousand, three hundred and thirty six marauding, forty one-kobo) with ten per cent penalty and 21 per cent interest between the period of year 2015 and 2016.

Lapo Agric Development Initiative with N7,078,313.20 (seven million, seventy-eight thousand, three hundred and thirteen naira, twenty kobo) with ten per cent penalty and 21 per cent interest between the period of year 2013 and 2016.

Nigeria Custom Service with liability of 111,221,381.37 (One hundred and million, two hundred and twenty one thousand, three hundred and eighty-one naira, thirty –seven kobo, and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps with N128,289,909.12 (One Twenty Eight Million, two hundred  and eighty nine thousand, nine hundred and nine naira, twelve kobo) among others.

Akano submitted that the state government gives zero tolerance for tax evasion and avoidance, describing it as “a great sin against the human race for justice to reign”.

“We are set to begin criminal prosecution and make sure that these aforementioned companies face the full wrath of the law.

“We are by this press briefing informing all defaulters that failure to redeem their taxes and levies will leave the board with no other option than to explore all legal means”.

Globacom Faces EFCC $6.7m Fraud Probe

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has charged telecommunications company, Globacom Limited, before the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja for an alleged fraud of $6,786,674.61.

The firm was charged alongside its Indian Chief Marketing Officer, Ashok Israni, who was listed as the first defendant in the case.

The one count filed before Justice A.O. Williams against the defendants, read, “Ashok Israni and Globacom Limited, sometime in 2008 in Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division, with intent to defraud, induced Emitac Mobile Solutions LLC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates to confer a benefit on you by permitting Emitac Mobile Solutions LLC to provide you with Blackberry solutions services, valued at USD 6,786,674.64 on the understanding that the benefit will be paid for, which pretence you knew to be false.”

The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mr. A.B.C. Ozioko, who signed the charge sheet, claimed that the firm and Israni acted contrary to Section 1(2)(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006.

However, when the case was called in court on Monday, the defendants were not in court.

The prosecutor, Ozioko, said the EFCC was making efforts to produce Israni, who had been granted an administrative bail by the anti-graft agency.

“My lord, we are sorry we are not able to produce the defendants.

“As part of efforts to ensure that trial commences, we brought the complainants all the way from Dubai.

“We have no choice but to seek a date for arraignment,” he said.

In the circumstance, Justice Williams adjourned the case till May 15, 2018 for the arraignment of the defendants.

Arrest Warrant Issued Against Mike Adenuga

An arrest warrant has been issued against billionaire businessman and chairman of Globacom Nigeria, Mike Adenuga by a House of Representatives adhoc panel investigating operational activities of service of telecommunications companies In Nigeria.

The reason for the arrest warrant is as a result of Adenuga’s continuous refusal to honour the invitations of the house.

At the panel’s seating today, the Chairman of the committee, Ahmed Abu, said Adenuga’s refusal to honor all of their invitations, is an affront to the legislature. According to Abu, records before the panel showed that Glo owes the Federal Government over N16.7 billion.

Consequently, he asked both the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission ICPC to go after the Glo chief for holding Nigeria’s money.

“A situation where the parliament will invite an agency or organization and then it won’t come, then we’re going nowhere. Some people feel they’re too big; that they’re above the law. I’m making reference to Mr Mike Adenuga, the chairman of Glo. The amount of disrespect he has for the parliament is unacceptable. Yes, he’s a billionaire, but that doesn’t mean anything. Anybody can be a billionaire in the right atmosphere,” he said.

A member of the panel, Bede Eke said

“It’s not about being a billionaire. Nobody is above the law. Even me sitting here as a lawmaker, I must respect the law. We can also summon the president of Nigeria to this place. I think appropriate action should be taken against the man. I will support any action that this committee will take against him.”

 

Glo Declares Friday Free Data Day

Globacom has declared Friday, 11th August 2017, as the first Free Data Day on its network.

This is keeping with the company’s promise of the Free Data Day package which was launched recently, a statement from the telco said yesterday.

The company said that eligible subscribers will get 200 MB free data to enjoy a free day of FREE browsing, chatting, streaming, downloading, uploading and lots more.

Glo subscriber should use 100MB plus N150 on voice calls OR N250 on voice calls between Friday, 4th and Thursday 10th August to qualify for the data largesse.

At the launch of the product, Globacom explained that it is open to all prepaid subscribers, adding that Free Data Day gives Glo customers free data for one whole day when they meet the voice and/or data usage threshold within seven days.

“We appreciate the essence of the internet in the contemporary world. We are through this product empowering our customers in an unprecedented way in their business, social and educational pursuits”, Glo stated.

 

Osun RLG Adulawo Trains 5000 Youths On ICT

The RLG Adulawo Technology City has trained about 5,000 indigenes of Osun in Information and Communication Technology ICT.

The company located in Ilesa, was established through a partnership between the Osun State Government and the technological firm based in Ghana in 2014.

According to the programme’s production supervisor, Mr Abdulrasaq Oshidipe, stated that the RLG Adulawo is a support facility to aid government’s plan on OYESTECH, an Information and Communication Technology branch of the widely accepted Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme, OYES.

As of today, the company which has a mobile phone assemblage plant has trained 5,000 beneficiaries of the OYES scheme with an additional training of 100 young individuals for advanced tutoring at the company’s headquarters in Ghana, Oshidipe said

Investigations revealed that the company which also engages in the assembling of other technology devices has a strong partnership with mobile telecommunications giants in Nigeria like GLO and AIRTEL in finding a ready market for its products.

“Aside the 5,000 individuals trained and the 100 sent for advanced training overseas, the company has also recruited an additional 150 manpower based and trained earlier in the state to create more jobs as well as to stimulate its operations.

As a leading manufacturer of smartphones, tablets and other devices in Nigeria, the company recently won a contract worth $31.5M to manufacture TV Set-Up Boxes for the entire federation.

The TV Boxes are to complement federal government’s efforts at ensuring Nigeria’s speedy compliance with the worldwide Digital Switch Over policy in its Broadcast Industry.

Initiated by the State Government of Osun under the leadership of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the RLG Adulawo, Nigeria is set to break into international limelight with the production of quality technological materials and complement the present administration’s bid to fast track the development of Osun.

Reacting, one of the beneficiaries, Anthonia Ogundare lauded the state government for the opportunity given her and many others to be part of the programme adding that the programme has made youths in the state productive.

“I am a beneficiary of this programme; I applied for OYESTECH scheme and was chosen among those to be trained in Ghana for a month internship and at our return we were employed at Adulawo Technology. This is one programme that have helped the youths in securing a job to help the family and future”

Globacom Deny Dropping Psquare

Telecommunications giant, Globacom has debunked the rumour making the rounds that the company has dropped Nigerian singing duo, Peter and Paul Okoye of the Psquare fame as its brand ambassadors.
Globacom made this disclosure in a statement in Lagos, on Thursday, where it stressed that Psquare is still with the company as its brand ambassadors.

It would be recalled that few days after their social media war, it was alleged that Globacom dropped them following the way Peter handled an issue that occurred during the grand finale of dance competition, ‘Dance with Peter’.

It was reported that Peter and one of the company’s representatives were involved in an issue that the singer/dancer handled unprofessionally, resulting in their termination as brand ambassadors. The sources also revealed that although the company had failed to fulfill some of its promises, that should not give Peter the right to insult them.

The telecom company disclosed that the annual review of its brand endorsement contracts was only just taking place and so could not have terminated its contract with P-square.

In the statement, Globacom, which over the years had been the biggest corporate supporter of the entertainment industry, and pioneered the signing of musicians and Nollywood stars as brand ambassadors, confirmed that P-square remains its ambassador.

“We have not disengaged P-square or any of our other ambassadors.

“We are currently in the process of reviewing our contracts with the brand ambassadors,” the statement added.

“Whenever brand ambassadors are to be engaged or disengaged, we usually follow the due process and dignify them by holding constructive discussions with them.

“P-square has been among the company’s flagship brand ambassadors since 2010, and that it has been a mutually rewarding relationship between the two parties.

“We are proud of the role Globacom has played in the rapid upward trajectory of the musical career of these incredibly talented twin brothers.

“Globacom has also played a similar role in the exposure and economic empowerment of all the Nigerian entertainers, and others from neighbouring countries, who worked with us as brand ambassadors.

“Globacom holds its brand ambassadors in the highest esteem and has a dignified procedure of managing its relationships with its brand ambassadors,” the statement added.

Osun Seals Globacom Over Unpaid Taxes

The State of Osun Internal Revenue Service (OIRS) on Wednesday, 17th February, 2016, sealed up Globacom Limited in the State of Osun for not effecting the payment of outstanding, TAXES AND OTHER LEVIES  in respect of mast/ base station and laying of fibre optics, which had become due and payable to Osun State Government arising from back- Duty-Investigation-Exercise.

This was made known by the Acting Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Osun Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Dayo Oyebanji today after the exercise. He said, the action aims at giving a bite to the company’s non-compliance to ensure remittance of all the outstanding due to the State. The distrain action is in line with the provision of Section 104 of the personal Income Tax Act 2004 LFN (as amended in 2011) and will not be reopened for business until all full compliance is attained.

He further explained that several meetings had been held with their representatives in the last three years in order to resolve the outstandings, however, all proved abortive. He made reference to the latest meetings held with the company on the 8th of October and 13th of Novembe, 2015 but the company representatives always renege on their promise.

Mr. Oyebanji said, the Osun State House of Assembly also intervened in the matter by inviting Globacom to appear before the special session on 3rd of December, 2015. Though the company representatives appeared before the House on that day, but all the promises to remit the outstanding tax liabilities within two weeks is yet to be effected up till now.

Another important issue is the failure to obtain relevant approval for laying of fibre optics in line with the State’s relevant regulation on physical and urban planning. He emphasized that in the last few months, it has been discovered that GLO has been laying cables and masts especially in Ife Axis without obtaining necessary approval and thus violating the law.

He stressed further that, OIRS has intensified its efforts on advocacy, publicity and enlightenment programmes on the statutory obligations of the citizenry for voluntary compliance by paying their taxes promptly as prescribed in the Nigeria constitution and the applicable tax legislations. In spite of its efforts, some corporate organizations and individuals still engage in several violations. As a result of this, OIRS is set to begin enforcement of tax payment, prosecution of all tax defaulters in the State of Osun to ensure that the defaulters are made to face the full scale of the law.

He also explained that, Personal Income Tax Act mandates all taxable institutions to file its annual tax return for the preceding year at the expiration of 90 days from the commencement of every year of assessment, a taxable person or corporate organizations who fails to file its returns with OIRS by the stipulated date is in breach of the provisions of the law.

He, however, thanked those who have continued to express their unalloyed support to the State of Osun through their regular tax payment. He assured members of the public that Osun State Government is committed to building a vibrant economy aimed at boosting commerce, industry and improving the welfare of the citizenry which can only be achieved through prompt tax payment of all the concerns, he added.

In his conclusion, he re-iterated that OIRS will not hesitate to take legal action against recalcitrant individuals or corporate organizations that fail to perform their civic responsibility to the State government in the area of tax payment.

LMC Shops For New Title Sponsor For League

The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) will now be thrown open for new title sponsors following the expiration of a three-year deal with telecommunications company Globacom.

“The contract with Globacom has duly ended at the conclusion of the 2016 Super 4 on February 5, 2016,and therefore Globacom is no longer associating with the NPFL,” according to a communiqué after the AGM of the League Management Company (LMC).

The league, which will start on February 21, is therefore open to interested sponsors.