N378m tax waiver: Senate orders AGF to handover firm owners to EFCC

The Senate in one of the detected financial infractions in the 2015 Audit Report, has ordered the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), to hand over officers involved in N378 million tax waiver to private firm (Webb Fontaine Ltd).

The Auditor General in the report, alleged that an illegal agreement on tax waiver was signed by some officials of Office Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) with Webb Fontaine Limited on N3.7 billion contract which made Federal government to lose N378 million Withholding Tax.

Webb Fontaine is a Port Community System Software which provides an interface between port authorities, terminal operators and Customs, offering a comprehensive set of features designed for the facilitation of port logistics operations.

The query reads: “Findings on examination of mandates for payment of services fees in respect of five companies at source before payment, revealed that the sum of N3.7 billion was paid to Web Fountain Ltd without deduction of withholding tax.

“This action led to the loss of tax revenue of N378 million and possibly more companies not covered by sampled test.”

Though at the consideration of the report by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, representative of Accountant General stated that by laws governing the Term of Agreement of their contract, Webb Fontaine Ltd has been exempted from and not subjected to the payment of Taxes (WHT, VAT).

The committee however expressed disatisfaction with the action, describing the waiver as arbitrary.

Consequently, the Senate in its adoption of its Committee’s report, directed that officials who signed the agreement with Webb Fontaine should be identified and sanctioned in line with Rule 3112.

The upper legislative chamber specifically asked the Accountant General of the Federation to handover the officials to anti graft agency for prosecution.