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Osun government shuts down OAU over N1.8 billion tax debt
The Osun State government has shut down Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, over the university’s inability to clear the N1.8 billion tax debt it owes the state.
Channels Television reports that officials of the Osun Internal Revenue Service (OIRS) arrived OAU at about 7 am on Wednesday, led by one Oladipo Babatunde, and locked up the school’s Senate Chamber, the administrative building and the main gate. Only the pedestrian gate was left unlocked.
This follows the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum given by the Osun State government for government-owned institutions in the state to clear their backlog of tax defaults or risk being shut down.
Babatunde said OAU had failed to remit its Pay as You Earn (PAYE) tax, withholding taxes and developments levy between 2015 and 2016, adding that the total amount owed the State government by the University is N1,844,770,939.45.
When contacted, Abiodun Olanrewaju, OAU’s Public Relations Officer, confirmed that the University is indebted to the government as a result of tax default, but added that the “little problem” will soon be resolved.
He explained that OAU has met its tax requirements since the present Vice Chancellor, Eyitope Ogunbodede, took office in 2017.
“I must add this that the present university administration since 2017 has been paying consistently but the backlog of debt inherited from the past administration is what is causing this little problem,” Olanrewaju said.
“Everything will be resolved by the grace of God. The school management is assuring the public that it will soon be resolved,” Olanrewaju said.