Assembly panel alleges fraud by 65 dredging firms in Lagos

House confirms two more nominees for state’s audit service commission

The Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday said that only one out of 66 dredging companies operating on Lagos waters, mostly dominated by Chinese nationals, was up-to-date in payment of required dues and taxes to the coffers of the state government.

Chairman of the House of Assembly ad-hoc committee set up to investigate activities of dredging companies in the state, Victor Akande, who spoke while giving preliminary reports of the panel’s investigation at plenary yesterday, said that the dredgers were denying the state huge sums of revenue by defaulting in the payment of statutory dues and taxes.

He also said that some people, including foreigners, especially Chinese, engaged in dredging activities thereby enriching themselves at the expense of the state.

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Other lawmakers, Rasheed Makinde, Desmond Elliot and Rotimi Olowo, said the activities of the dredgers were criminal. Olowo said that some dredgers with Category C approval operate in Category A area without regard to the laws.

Akande, therefore, requested that the House should give the committee an additional two weeks to complete its work, as it wants to embark on inspection tour of the dredging sites and needs security to do so.

The committee was, therefore, given an additional two weeks as requested by Akande.The Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni, to write the governor and intimate him with the preliminary reports of the committee on the activities of dredgers in the state.

Obasa also directed the Clerk to ask the state commissioner of police to provide security for the committee members while on inspection of the dredging sites.

Meanwhile, the Assembly has confirmed two additional nominees for the state’s audit service commission.The nominees were Mr. Yakub Ishola Balogun and Mr. Jimoh Akanbi Ibrahim. Balogun replaced Mr. Abiodun Oladipupo Akhigbe, who was rejected by the House.

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