Senate has exposed how some officials of Office of Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) granted tax waiver to private firm, Webb Fountain Ltd, which made federal government to lose N378 million withholding tax, asking that the officials should be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Webb Fountain Ltd is a port community system software provider, 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 Senate Public Accounts chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide during the investigation on 2015 Audit Report against the Accountant General of the Federation discovered that N3.7 billion was paid to Webb Fontaine Ltd without deduction of withholding tax leading to loss of tax revenue of N378 million to federal government.
“The sum of N3.7 billion was paid to Webb 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,” the Report stated.
But, the representative of accountant general stated that by laws governing the term of agreement of their contract, Webb Fountain Ltd has been exempted from and not subject to the payment of taxes (WHT, VAT).
The Senate however expressed dissatisfaction with arbitrary granting of exemption and waivers for payment of taxes to a private company, which caused the federal government a huge revenue loss.
The Senate therefore said all officials who signed the agreement with Webb Fountain should be identified and sanctioned for causing loss of revenue and asked accountant general of the federation to handover the officials to anti-graft agency in line with Rule 31112 .
The Senate also said, “ The accountant general should recover the sum of N378 million from Webb Fountain Ltd and remit to FIRS.
“Recovery particulars should be forwarded to the Auditor General of the Federation for audit.”