by Paul Osas
Chairman, Global Fleets Limited, Mr Jimoh Ibrahim who was invited by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) over tax liabilities bordering on his companies, has said that the FIRS is bias. He argued that even though the FIRS claimed that he who buys assets buys the liabilities of the company, yet it has refused to go after the new owners of Air Nigeria, a company he partly owned in 2010.
The entrepreneur in a statement to set the records straight said, “Our company, NICON Group, purchased 48% shares of Air Nigeria sometimes in 2010 and the Federal Inland Revenue came with alleged tax liabilities for the period of 2006 to 2010. They claimed that he who buys assets buys the liabilities of the company. That was in 2012. We requested for reconciliation of the taxes which was however not conclusive. We closed down the airline and sold our shares to a commercial bank in Nigeria .”
In a related development, the Director, Communications and Liaison Department of the FIRS, Mr. Emmanuel Obeta confirmed Monday that Ibrahim was indeed invited for questioning regarding alleged tax liabilities. He however said that contrary to reports, Ibrahim was not arrested but only invited for questioning which he obliged.
Speaking further Ibrahim said “The same law of who buys the assets buys the liabilities should apply, which is why FIRS should pursue the liability of Air Nigeria with the new owners,” but the business tycoon was quick to add that “Yesterday (Monday) the FIRS enforcement unit solicited my assistance about the new buyer, I opted to give them the full details and documents.”