Lagos State House of Assembly has accused 65 dredging companies operating in the state of failing to adequately remit taxes and other dues to the state government.
The assembly revealed that only one out of 66 companies has remitted full taxes and other payments to the coffers of the state government to date.
Others were said to have consistently defaulted in payment of dues and taxes while a number of them were accused of not paying any dues at all against the requirements of the law.
These were some of the findings of the Hon. Victor Akande-led Lagos State House of Assembly ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the activities of dredging companies in the state.
Hon. Akande gave a preliminary report of the committee’s investigation at plenary on Monday.
Akande said that the dredgers were denying the state huge sums of revenue by defaulting in the payment of statutory dues and taxes to the state that would have boosted the internally generated revenue of the state.
The lawmaker also disclosed that all manner of people including foreigners, especially Chinese were engaged in dredging activities enriching themselves at the expense of the state.
Tribune Online reports that other lawmakers including Rasheed Makinde, Desmond Elliot and Rotimi Olowo who contributed to the debate said the activities of the dredgers were criminal and that they have blocked most channels by their activities.
Olowo said the dredgers were operating indiscriminately as some with category C approvals would be operating in category A without regard to the laws.
The committee chairman requested that the House give the committee an additional two weeks to complete its work as it wants to embark on an inspection tour of the dredging sites, adding that the committee member would require adequate security to do so.
Additional two weeks as requested by Akande to complete the investigation was granted by the House. It would be recalled that the house initially granted the committee two weeks to submit its report when it was set up.
The speaker, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa also directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni to write the governor and intimate him with the findings of the committee on the activities of dredgers in the state.
Obasa also directed the Clerk to write to the state commissioner of police to provide security for the committee members when they embark on inspection of the dredging sites.