OAU Reopens Week After Closure For Tax Default

Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has reopened one week after Osun State authorities shut the school over tax default.

Workers returned to the reopened Senate Building and other administrative blocks on Tuesday.

“The Senate Building is presently open and I am in my office likewise other staff, the Senate was reopened yesterday evening for activities,” said Abiodun Olanrewaju, the spokesperson for the school..

The Osun State Internal Revenue Service (IRS) closed the school last week over alleged N1.8 billion tax debt to the state government.

The IRS sealed the Senate building, administrative block, and the bursary department following the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum issued to the school to clear its debt.

The IRS said corporate bodies, including OAU, are indebted to the tune of N12.5 billion.

The State Government through Gbenga Akano, special adviser to the state governor on tax matters, said “several meetings have been held with affected organisations, but it has been a continuous imperviousness and indebtedness. We are left with no option than to openly mention some tax defaulters who failed to perform their civic responsibilities.”

However, while reacting to the allegations, the spokesperson for the institution, Mr Olanrewaju debunked the claim by the Osun IRS, that the university is owing N1.8 billion in tax, which led to its closure.

He explained that the past tax liability, which represents the sum which the IRS claimed that the university under-deducted from staff salaries for the period 2015 and 2016 for PAYE, has been a subject of negotiations between the university and the State IRS.

Mr. Olanrewaju disputed the figure of N1.844 billion submitted by the IRS and insisted that if there had been under-deduction at all, only the sum of N384 million was the amount by which PAYE was under-deducted from staff salaries.

The vice chancellor of the institution had made a similar claim, saying most of the debt were owed before he assumed office.

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