Reps to probe destination inspection contract

The House of Representatives has directed its Committee on Customs and Excise to probe contracts worth N275 billion awarded to destination inspection service providers.
The contracts were for the provision of facilities for the prosecution of Destination Inspection Scheme (DIS), including scanning services, risk management techniques and electronic platform at the borders, as well as the training of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) personnel.
Adopting a motion brought by Abimbola Daramola on the floor, Wednesday, the Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, who presided, directed the committee to report back to the House within two weeks.

The affected companies include Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited, SGS Scanning Nigeria Limited, Global Scan Systems Limited, and Webb Fountain (Nigeria) Limited.
The companies were expected to build, equip, train and transfer their technology and expertise to the Nigeria Customs, handing over their functions seamlessly to the Service fully at the end of December 2012.
But Daramola had in the motion on the urgent need to prevent continued loss of revenue through ports inspection contracts, Wednesday, submitted that in December last year, the Minister of Finance and the NCS Management in conjunction with the service providers curiously announced an extension of the contract for a period of six months without due process and against the overall interest of the country.

The lawmaker noted that as a result of the extension, N21 billion would be paid to the service providers irrespective of the quality of work and without handing over to the NCS or making Nigerians the dominant players after many years.
Daramola also expressed worry that the revenue potentials of the country were not being realised, as adequate taxes were not being paid by the DIS service providers.
The collection of government revenue, according to him, is also not being maximised as over $1 billion of government revenue have been lost.

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