The House of Representatives on Thursday raised alarm over how indigenous shipping companies are shortchanging the Federal government of revenue to the tune of over 300 million dollars.
House committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, investigating allegations of non remittance and ill practices by the shipping companies, revealed this at the investigative hearing in Abuja.
The committee revealed that so much monies amounting to 300million dollars from the 3 per cent levy they collected on behalf of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, from international shipping companies had been diverted.
Chairman of the committee, Rep. Umar Bago, said that while it was common on the part of the shipping firms as receivers on behalf of NIMASA to receive three per cent levy from their parent companies (as Nigeria agents), regrettably they deployed such monies for their personal use
Bago added that at times they changed their corporate names, directors and decline to remit the funds to the nation’s consolidated fund account.
”You collect monies from international shipping companies, sit on the money, change your company names and directors, and do business with the funds without remitting to the consolidated fund, ” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 12 local shipping firms, some of which have denied the allegation of wholesale indebtedness to the government are currently being investigated by the House from 2004.
The committee said, “Moreso, firms indicted will be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for prosecution.”