On September 28, 2017, the Edo State Internal Revenue Service (EIRS) shut down the operations of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) in Benin popularly called Bronze FM for alleged tax indebtedness to the tune of N6.7 million.
As a result, services of the Station were grounded and workers left stranded and also resulting in the loss of its clientele and revenue apart from the sponsored programmes and adverts that have been paid for.
Shedding light on the issue, Mr. Charity Amayaenvbo, Executive Director of Income Tax at the EIRS explained that the station was rightly shut down by a court order to enforce the payment of the outstanding tax obligations. According to him the state agency does not have the intention of the reopening the Station until the unpaid remittances of income taxes spanning two years by the radio station are defrayed.
Clarifying the issues, Mr. Amayaenvbo said the N6,7M represented the income tax calculated at N2,583,344.60 for 2011, including an interest of N443,000 at 21 per cent, and N4,185,912.17 for 2012, which also included interest and a penalty of over N800,000.
However, a staff of the Station described the sum claimed by the revenue service agency as doubtful and outrageous, in his words “The figures are doubtful and outrageous because even if the station has 200 personnel, which is not even up to that, that means one person will be paying over N50,000 as tax.
The source stated that the payment of taxes had been regular ever since workers’ salaries were paid through the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Integrated System by the Federal Ministry of Finance in May, 2012.
The worker argued that the Benin station had few employees since it commenced operation on December 25, 2010.
Meetings are however being organized to ensure that normalcy is restored and so that the station can return to air.