Financial transactions were paralyzed in many banks in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, this morning as a combined task force team of the state Inter-ministerial Enforcement Unit swoop on the financial institutions to enforce tax compliance.
As early as 9 am, no fewer than 20 different branches of the various banks had been shut with sealed notices placed at the property.
Some of the areas the enforcement team carried out their activities include; Dugbe, Mokola, Idi-Ape, Agodi Gate, Secretariat Road, Challenge, Jericho, Bodija, UI among others.
Some of the affected banks are, Diamond, Stanbic IBTC, Skye, FCMB and Heritage Bank.
The officials of the affected banks were seen running around to tidy up their papers to save losing the whole days business.
While some succeeded in making the necessary payment as fast as they could to resume operations, some others were still trying to reach out to superior authority for further directives.
A source within the government enforcement team said the affected banks defaulted in the payment of the annual environmental development levy.
The tax, which is paid to the coffers of the state government is said to be paid for the impact of the various business and corporate entities on the environment across the state.
The affected banks were also said to have been found guilty for a variable duration ranging from 2015 to 2018, despite series of official communications and reminders to the management at different times.
It would be recalled that the Oyo State Board of Internal Revenue (OYBIR), the coordinating agency for collecting all government revenues had last month issued a 14-day ultimatum to all taxpayers in the state to pay up all outstanding dues and levies to the coffers of government.
The Chairman of the Board, Mr. Bicci Alli had warned in the paid advertorial that the agency would embark on massive enforcement to seal up all erring corporate organisations on the expiration of the ultimatum.
But a source hinted that about two weeks after the expiration of the 14 days, the OYBIR had also written series of reminder letters to the affected banks, to which no response was gotten until the enforcement.
Many people who were within the affected bank premises when the enforcement team sealed up were shocked and expressed disappointment that corporate organizations like banks could default in tax payment.
Alli said the enforcement team decided to focus on banks to serve as a deterrent to other defaulting corporate organisations, adding that the exercise is continuous.