BY TAIWO OGUNMOLA-OMILANI
The Lagos State House of Assembly has revealed that only one out of 66 dredging companies in operation on the State waters is up to date in payment of required dues and taxes to the coffers of the state government.
This formed part of the findings by Lagos State House of Assembly ad-hoc committee set up to investigate activities of dredging companies in the state.
Hon. Victor Akande while giving preliminary report of its investigation at plenary on Monday explained that other companies have consistently defaulted in payment of dues and taxes while a number have not been paying anything at all as required by the law.
Akande said the dredgers were denying the state huge sums of revenue by defaulting in the payment of statutory dues and taxes to the state that would have boosted the internally generated revenue of the state.
He also disclosed that all manner of people including foreigners, especially Chinese were engaged in dredging activities enriching themselves at the expense of the state.
Other lawmakers like Hons. Rasheed Makinde, Desmond Elliot and Rotimi Olowo who contributed to the debate said the activities of the dredgers was criminal and that they have blocked most channels by their activities.
While Olowo said the dredgers were operating indiscriminately as some with category C approvals would be operating in category A without regard to the laws.
Akande requested that the House give the committee additional two weeks to complete its work as it wants to embark on inspection tour of the dredging sites and that it would need security to do so.
The committee which was given two weeks to submit its report when it was set up was given an additional two weeks as requested by Akande to complete its investigation.
The speaker, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa also directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni to write the governor and intimate him with the findings of the committee of the activities of dredgers in the state in its preliminary report.
Obasa also directed the Clerk to write to the state commissioner of police to provide security for the committee members when they embark on inspection of the dredging sites.