The Anambra State Government in eastern Nigeria has sealed off at least 35 buildings in the industrial town of Nnewi over the refusal of the owners to pay property rate of over N150 million.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the buildings included commercial banks, hotels, business plazas, filling stations, hospitals, residential homes as well as primary and secondary schools.
Mrs Chinenye Okafor, the Head, Human Resources and Administration, Anambra Property and Land Use Charge (APLUC), explained that the closure on Thursday followed various court judgments obtained against the tax evaders.
Okafor said after the exercise that the affected buildings owed the state government a total sum of N150,455,814.59.
She said that the agency in 2014 and 2015 carried out similar enforcement in Awka and Onitsha on 125 buildings, noting that more buildings would be sealed-off as soon as judgments were obtained.
“We are advising property owners in the state, particularly in Onitsha, Awka, Ogidi and Nkpor, to go and pay their property rates or face the wrath of the law.
“We had discussion with some of them and they had promised to pay since November 2014, but up till now, we have not seen any positive response from them.
“We are no longer interested in continuing with appealing or sensitising them because we have tried it for more than two years now and nothing was coming out of it.
“The government has considered the second option of litigation and enforcement this time after dialogue had failed,” Okafor said.tweet