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Senate invites IGP, DSS over N6.5bn unremitted revenue, Lagos Trade Fair Complex

DSS raises alarm over plots to destabilize Nigeria

The Senate Ad-hoc Committee investigating the Alleged Misuse, Under-remittance by all Revenue Generating Agencies has invited the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and the Director General, Department of State Service (DSS), Lawal Daura, to assist in the recovery of about N6.5 billion unremitted revenue accrued to the Federal Government.

They are also to furnish the panel on information regarding the ejection of the concessionaire of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, AULIC Nigeria Limited.

Chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos State) gave the directive at the weekend for the IGP and DG- DSS to be invited to assist in recovery of the 322 hectares multi-billion naira complex and the huge debt due in the N40billion lease fees, following submissions to the committee by the DG of BPE, Alex Okoh and the National Council of Privatization (NCP).

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A statement by Kayode Odunaro, Media Adviser to Adeola, stated that the duo of Idris and Daura are expected to appear before the committee on Wednesday November 1, 2017.

The statement quoted the lawmaker as expressing shock that the company could withhold FG’s revenue to the tune of N6.5bn while contravening government’s revocation order of the concessionaire agreement.

“What we need to do at this point is to recover the Trade Fair Complex from the concessionaire and subsequently pursue the issue of N6.5 billion unremitted Federal Government Revenue.

“Since the local police cannot handle the ejection with the concessionaire still operating and collecting revenue using all manner of tactics including thuggery, then we are inviting the IGP and DG-DSS to address this illegal challenge on the authority of the Federal Government and proffer a way forward. I am surprised that anyone can flagrantly operate as if he is above the law and the Government,” the senator said.

Earlier, Okoh recalled that the concession agreement to AULIC Nigeria Limited was revoked in early September by the Federal Government, following the inability of the concessionaire to remit about N6.5 billion accruing to the Federal Government over a nine-year period.

He said after the initial fees of N200million paid by the concessionaire in 2007 and another N12million, it has not paid a dime to the FG with revenue of N6.5billion outstanding.

He explained that all efforts to eject the concessionaire including the use of the Divisional Police at the Complex and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has proved abortive.

“The concessionaire uses thugs and compromised local police and this has made his ejection impossible. We reported the matter to EFCC and the concessionaire was arrested but later released. But so far he is still operating the complex and collecting revenue without remitting a dime to Federal Government or paying due balance on the lease fees,” the BPE DG stated.

He alleged that the concessionaire has abused the trade fair complex with hospitality and other real estate business without approval.

Recall that in its interim report in plenary last week, Adeola had revealed that out of the over 600 agencies involved, 92 had so far been investigated.

He revealed that 26 of the agencies, which account for about 75 percent of the expected remittances to the Federal Government, generated N21,909,831,657,897 between January 2012 and December 2016 but shortchanged the Federal Government to the tune of N1.6 trillion.

The Senate extended the committee’s assignment by another six weeks to enable it conclude its work and present a final report.

 

OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja