The Governor Nyesom Wike-led Rivers State government has sealed-off the headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Port Harcourt over alleged tax evasion.
BIGPEN ONLINE gathered that it is the second time the Rivers State Government is sealing the NDDC headquarters due to non compliance with taxes running to over N1.8 billion naira.
Recalls that the Rivers state Board of Internal Revenue had last year enforced a similar court order to seal off the headquarters due to failure of the management of the commission to remit taxes to the state government for several years.
But reacting to the development, NDDC’s Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa expressed displeasure that the state government took the commission unaware without prior notice, moreso at a time the present Management has vowed and taking responsible steps to clear all legitimate debts owed by the Commission.
Specifically, Brambaifa, in a statement by his Special Assistant, Media/Publicity, Barr. Igbeta Ayebakuro on Tuesday, denied being aware of the commission’s alleged indebtedness, promising however to delve into the situation to foster amicable settlement of the issues through proper negotiatory mechanisms.
The statement read, “Prof. Nelson Brambaifa the Acting Manager of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) express shock at the event that unfold today, as men who claim to be agents and working by the instructions of the Rivers State Internal Revenue Service (RIRS) sealed off the Harrold Dappa-Biriye House along the popular Aba road in Port Harcourt, which currently serve as the temporary Headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“It has being alleged that the sealing was as a result of debts owed the Rivers State government by the NDDC which previous administration’s failed to offset, a debt that is claimed to be around Millions.
“Brambaifa hereby express his dissatisfaction with the incidence which is rather unfortunate, moreso at a time the present Management has vowed and taking responsible steps to clear all legitimate debts owed by the Commission. The MD/CEO reassured that his administration has just begun the payment of contractors most of whom have being owed over Eight(8) years.
Continuing, he said, “The Commission under his stewardship has also commenced the payment of benefits to beneficiaries of the various empowerment programs of the Commission. What one would have expected of the RIRS is to make official requests/reminder to the Commission via approved channels, and not to obstruct the workings of the Commission in this crude pattern.
“However, Brambaifa in an effort to finding amicable solution to the issue has swing into action by directing for the immediate resolution of the pending issues, and to verify the claims as put out by agents of the RIRS, meanwhile the Ag.MD/CEO has promised to do everything within his power and the resources of the Commission to clear all it’s indebtedness to every legitimate creditor, so long as it can be proven that such rash actions are neither politically motivated, nor done with a malicious intent or even to blackmail.
“In the meantime, Brambaifa urge all Niger Deltans to continue to keep faith with him and the Commission to deliver on its mandate, while urging staff of the Commission to remain undeterred by the rather ugly incident, as he urge them to continue do their duties assigned to them by the Commission”.