SPAR and ShopRite in Enugu have been closed by the State Government due to alleged failure to remit purchase tax in their malls, despite multiple warning notices.

The State Internal Revenue Service enforcement team carried out the sealing, also closing other establishments like Roban and Mama Onyinye restaurant.

According to Egwuonwu Perpetual, HOD of eateries, bars, hotels, and shopping malls at ESIRS, the agency had made several visits to request the purchase tax, but the businesses did not comply.

She added they have also pleaded with the concerned individuals to be remitting their taxes when due, but "have been recalcitrant and till now they have not done anything concerning these instructions."

“It is worthy of note that after we met with the Roban store they displayed our sticker and have complied with remitting their purchase tax to the IRS. On the other hand, ShopRite has frustrated all our efforts to get them to do the needful.

"It is always one story or another eventually they promised us that before the end of February, they would do something but we are in March and the ESIRS have not heard from them,” she said.

Egwuonwu stressed that the malls would remain closed until the issues at hand were resolved.

Speaking to journalists on the incident, the spokesperson for the service, Nnamdi Eneh explained that the agency had gone on air to enlighten and educate the people on the need to remit their taxes.

“Our public enlightenment programme has been ongoing for a while now. We have been sensitizing the people and pleading with them to pay their taxes so as not to fall victim during enforcement, but most of them remained adamant.

"The objective here is not to disrupt anybody’s business but since pleading did not work, this is the only way to compel them to do what they are supposed to do.”