The Akwa Ibom State Government, in collaboration with its Internal Revenue Service, has taken action to close down three banks due to their alleged failure to remit a collective sum of ₦228 million to the state government.
This move, which took place on Thursday, October 26, 2023, was carried out as part of an enforcement operation led by the Revenue Board’s Enforcement and Recovery Department.
The closure was prompted by an Order of Notice of Distrain issued by the Akwa Ibom State High Court, Eket Judicial Division.
The banks affected by this action include two branches of Keystone Bank situated at Abak Road and Ikot Ekpene Road, Uyo, as well as Heritage Bank located at Aka Road, Uyo.
Leo Umana, the Executive Director of Enforcement and Recovery at the Revenue Board, disclosed to the press in Uyo that Heritage Bank had failed to remit ₦100,270,910 in tax obligations to the state, while Keystone Bank had an outstanding tax debt of ₦128,413,882 to the state government.
Umana emphasized, “If, after 14 days, they do not comply, we have the mandate of the court to sell the property and recover the tax owed to the state.”
He pointed out that the banks had received warning notices but failed to comply, despite having been granted several months to address their tax arrears.
The AKIRS had exhausted all avenues for reconciliation and negotiation with the financial institutions before resorting to legal measures.
Under the law, these banks have a 14-day window to engage in negotiations with AKIRS and settle their outstanding tax liabilities to avoid further legal repercussions.