While well-deserving Nigerians are receiving National awards for years of positively impacting their society, Hebert Wigwe and his Access Bank are only showing their prowess in carrying out National frauds and deserving of an award for years of defrauding states across the country via unremitted taxes leaving behind trails of economic deprivation in their host states.
Findings by SecretReporters have shown that while other Northern states looks on as Access Bank Plc and its cohorts fleece the Nasarawa state dry of its IGR, little did the Niger State government know that the bank which is fast becoming notorious in the act of defrauding states as it concerns the non-remittance of taxes and IGR suppression has been secretly milking it of its IGR.
Following an audit report carried out by the Niger State Board of Internal Revenue to ascertain the level of tax compliance and Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) suppression by banks operating, it was gathered that Access bank Plc which is always a leading name in the affairs of unremitted taxes defrauded the Niger State government of a whopping N556,801,021 (Five Hundred and Fifty-Six Million Eight Hundred and One Thousand Twenty-One Naira) between 29th May 1999 to 26th September 2017.
The audit which broke the camel’s back, necessitated by the pressure placed on the state’s Revenue Board by the Abubakar Sani Bello led administration to improve Internally generated Revenue (IGR), showed that Access Bank allegedly aided by top officials in the state’s board who made the checks and balances procedure of the board porous, secretly diverted withholding Tax on Credit Interest monies belonging to the state to their private pockets since it began operation in the state.
More so, it was also gathered that as though in confirming that like poles attract, the seasoned spendthrift Uzoma Dozie led defunct Diamond Bank Plc which was acquired by Access Bank Plc in 2018 also defrauded the Niger N556,916,153 (Five Hundred and Fifty-Six Million Nine Hundred and Sixteen Thousand One Hundred Fifty-Three Naira) from 29 May 1999 to 29 September 2017.
It seems as though Access Bank Plc may not renege on its scheme to continually defraud Niger State as it appears that top officials at the Revenue Board might have been compromised which has made their unremitted tax prowess gone undetected for years leading to the over half a billion Naira unremitted tax to the state government.
When contacted by our reporter, the Head Media Relations of Access Bank Plc Abdul Imoyo, stated that he hasn’t seen any document indicting the bank and as such cannot react to the report which he described as mere allegations. However, few moments later, he contacted our reporter via a phone call stating that “all issues concerning PAYE and withholding taxes the bank had with the Niger State government has been resolved, you can call the state to confirm”.