Senate has exposed some officials of in the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) who allegedly signed an agreement of Tax waver with a Private firm (Webb Fontaine Ltd) which made Federal government to loose 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 Senate Public Accounts chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, during the Investigation on 2015 Audit Report against the Accountant General of the Federation uncovered N3.7 billion that was paid to Webb Fountain Ltd without deduction of Withholding Tax leading to loss of tax revenue of N378 million by Federal government .
According to Auditor General’s query, the examination of mandates for payment of services fees in respect of five companies at source before payment, with exception of Webb Fountain Ltd, saying 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.”
But, the representative of Accountant General stated that statutorily, by laws governing the term of Agreement of their contract, Webb Fontaine 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 mandated all officials who signed the agreement with Webb Fontaine be identified and sanctioned for causing loss of Revenue as it 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.”