The Osun State Government has accused Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, of misleading the public with the amount the university claims it owes the government in unremitted tax.
OAU says the size of its default on tax remittance to Osun State amounts to N384 million, but the Osun Internal Revenue Service, IRS, insists on N1.8 billion.
The claim by the school is ‘ridiculous,’ says Olugbenga Akano, the government adviser on tax and revenue matters.
“As an alumnus, I’m in pain that the only institution I can point to in the whole world as my own is involved in this ridiculous issue of Tax under deduction and juggling of figures,” he said, addressing journalists on Wednesday. “This is not in the tradition of a reputable world-class university with outstanding egg heads on Parade.”
He continued: “Once again we are here to set the record straight and maintain our earlier position on tax issues involving Obafemi Awolowo University. The figure of N384 million being claimed by the authority of OAU as their outstanding tax liability for 2015 and 2016 is misleading.
“Contrary to OAU rejoinder of N384,000,000.00. The sum of N1.8 billion claimed by the Osun State Government is a painstaking audit of the books supplied by the institution themselves to our crack team of auditors. Meanwhile, relevant tax laws allow anybody or any institution to raise objections or appeal against an audit report within a limited time frame which the university failed to do so.
“It is too late in the day for the university to rely on a letter written by a third party to peg their liability to such a mind-boggling ridiculous sum of N384 million meant for 2006-2014 liability for 2015-2016,” Mr Akano said.
The Osun authorities shut OAU last week. But the school reopened this week.
Mr Akano disclosed that the reopening of the institution took “the intervention of eminent Nigerians like Femi Falana SAN, for the Osun Internal Revenue Service to remove the seal at the OAU Senate building after the management paid the sum of N25million as a deposit for further negotiations on a repayment plan for the balance.”
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