By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
Following the sealing of Giginya Coral and Shukurah Coral hotels, Sokoto by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on account of none payment of tax, an Interim Management Committee constituted by the state government had on Wednesday taken over the management of the two hotels owned by the Sokoto state government.
The interim management committee comprised of seven members expected to submit reports within the earliest possible time based on its terms of reference.
The 5-star and 3-star hotels managed by Coral Group of Companies were sealed by the agency for not remitting VAT and other taxes
However, Mrs Hannatu Muhammad, FIRS Controller in Sokoto who spoke through a tax support officer, Mr Faisal Abubakar Shayau said the office cannot comment on the matter but “I can only direct you to the headquarters for any information on the sealing of the two edifices”, he said.
Confirming the development, Secretary to the State Government, Professor Bashir Garba said the two hotels were indebted to the tune of N140 million tax due to the FIRS not remitted.
” Giginya Coral is owing over N65 million and Shukurah Coral has over N85 million. This is small fraction of the revenue generated over time by the hotels and the owner is yet to be considered. Its a shamble deal. The hotels are fast decaying due to the condition of structures and environment.”
According to him” a similar scenario happened last year and the state government had to swiftly come in to address the problem for business to continue in the hotels.
According to Garba”this time around we decided to look into the activities of the hotels and discovered that remittances were not being made to FIRS.
” There is no legally documented pact in form of MoU bounding the two parties involved; the state government and Coral Group of companies on the management of the hotels.
” Besides, we are not in the picture of what is going on about the operation of the two hotels. The state government is not getting its share of the income generated over the period by the managers who discovered have no single investment in the running of the hotels.”
He said” we have no option than to take such decision resulting to the take over since there has been no concrete arrangement. We will fine tune appropriate mechanisms to invite the public for shares subscription so that the hotels can compete favourably after resolving with the FIRS”, he said.
While finalising the handing and taking over of Shukurah Coral hotel, Chairman of the management committee and Commissioner for Commerce, Alhaji Bello Isa Ambarura said the committee had taken over the two hotels from Coral Group of companies based on 6 terms of reference which include; taking over total control of management of the hotels, provide security facilities and premises, monthly routine reports and ensure proper record keeping of operations and finances accordingly.
” We took over Giginya Coral hotel yesyerday(Tuesday) and today Shukurah Coral. We have swung into action and have provided security”, Ambarura said.
However, while the handing and taking over was being finalised at the Shukurah Coral hotel, official of the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company(KEDCO) stormed the premises and disconnected it supply.