25 January 2013

Nigeria: Reps Query Revenue Loss Through Ports Inspection Contracts

The House of Representatives has directed its Committee on Customs and Excise to investigate the continued loss of revenue through ports inspection contracts.

The resolution followed a motion moved by Rep. Abimbola Daramola ( ACN-Ekiti) which was adopted unanimously.

According to him, the collection of government revenue was not being maximised as more than $1 billion have been lost. He said that adequate taxes were not being paid by the destination inspection service providers.

Daramola said that destination inspection contracts were awarded to four foreign firms in 2006 at more than N275 billion to provide scanning services, risk management techniques, and electronic platforms at various ports and borders in the country.

The lawmaker explained that within seven years, the destination inspection service providers were expected to build, equip and transfer the technology and expertise to the Nigerian Customs Service at the end of December 2012.

He said that the Finance Minister, the Customs Service and the service providers extended the contract for six months without due process and against the interest of the country.

Daramola said that as a result of the extension, N21 billion would be paid to the service providers irrespective of the quality of work.

The committee is expected to report back to the House within two weeks.

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