By Tunde Oyekola, Osogbo
One week after The Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife in Osun state was sealed by the Osun State Government, controversy appears to be trailing the actual amount owed by the Institution.
While the management of the Institution is claiming that its outstanding tax liability for 2015 and 2016 is N384 million, the Osun state government does not agree with the figure, stating that the tax remittance owed by institution for the Year 2015-2016 audit is N1.8 billion.
The Special Adviser on Tax and Revenue Matters, Olugbenga Akano while addressing newsmen in Osogbo on Wednesday said, the claim by the authority of OAU as their tax liability for 2015 and 2016 is misleading as the N287million was the outstanding balance, in respect of the year 2006-2014 audit, as at the time when the representatives from the office of the Accountant General of the federation came into the matter.
Akano explained that upon intervention of eminent Nigerians most especially Femi Falana SAN, the Osun Internal Revenue service has however removed the seal at the OAU Senate building after the management paid the sum of N25million as deposit for further negotiations on repayment plan for the balance.
Akano said, “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 as liability against the university. This is not in the tradition of a reputable world class university with outstanding egg heads on Parade.
“Once again we are here to reset 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.
“As at 4th May, 2018, the amount of N287,815,947.07 was the institution’s outstanding in respect of 2006-2014 audit, contrary to OAU rejoinder of N384,000,000.00.”
He further said, “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 allows 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,” he concluded.