Reps Summon NEPZA, OGFTZ , Allege Unremitted Taxes By Contractors
The House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Accounts has resolved to invite the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority and the Oil and Gas Free Zone on the tax status of Julius Berger Plc, CETRACO, Salini Nigeria Limited and other construction companies in Nigeria.
Chairman of the committee, Oluwole Oke, in his ruling after grilling some construction companies at an investigative hearing, said NEPZA and OGFTZ were to brief lawmakers on tax remittances by the firms.
The committee had on Thursday grilled some construction companies over alleged breach of the fiscal policy of the Federal Government through irregular and non-payment of taxes.
The lawmakers are investigating the allegation of tax evasion by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation against Julius Berger, CETRACO, Salini, Arab Contractors, among others, in their engagements with the trade zones.
Oke said the committee would determine if the companies were registered with either the OGFTZ or NEPZA and if they have fixed assets to enable them enjoy tax or duty waivers.
Also, the panel is to confirm if the firms have subsidiaries in Nigeria.
Julius Berger, in its response to the committee, said it had a subsidiary known as Julius Berger Services Ltd and it had complied with all tax payments to the OGFTZ, with receipts to back the payments.
The construction giant also said it had been in the zone since 2016 and had been managing its tax benefits well.
Julius Berger also stated that it did not enjoy duty waivers as every equipment for its business was imported and duties on them duly paid.
The committee was, however, surprised that the OGFTZ did not disclose the tax payments by Julius Berger but gave the impression that he company was indebted to the zone.
CETRACO and Salini, however, denied ever having any business with either OGFTZ or NEPZA.
Both firms also denied using licences issued by either NEPZA or OGFTZ in any business