How Indian firm shortchanges Nigeria | Independent Newspapers Limited
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How Indian firm shortchanges Nigeria

Posted: Apr 21, 2015 at 2:13 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Andrew Airahuobhor / Theme Editor, Business


An Indian firm, Deekay and Sons (NIG) Limited has been discovered to have been shortchanging the federal government of an estimated N300 million every other month, in underpayments and wrong classification. This is one of the several revenue leakages plaguing the country, currently grappling with economic woes foisted on it by fall in oil prices and a devalued currency in the last few months.

Although the Apapa Area One Command of the Nigeria Customs Service often slams Deekay and Sons Limted with DEBIT NOTE (DN) because of underpayments and wrong classification, but are described as ridiculously low DN compared to the gravity of the offence that is even supposed to attract outright seizure in line with the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA).

Since the beginning of the year 2015, the firm has been issued several DNs on some shiploads of imports according to a credible source close to customs in Apapa, “we issued the company a DN of N3.6 million this year; we also issued another N2.73 million DN to the same company this year, and others like that. In some instances they paid duty and did not pay levy,” he told Daily Independent.

Import manifests obtained by Daily Independent shows that the company, which is an importer of all types of finished goods into Nigeria, use classification of imports to short pay government duty and levies. It imports finished products, especially ceiling boards and declare it in freight manifest as shuttering for concrete constructional work, deliberately coined to avoid payment of levy and appropriate Customs duty. While ceiling boards attract 30 percent duty and levy, concrete constructional work will be charged at five percent.

For instance, Deekay imported through a ship, WORLD SIRIUS with Voyage number IIV, a Bill of Lading No. N284005CNLYGNGLOS08, a total of 500 pallets of ceiling boards declared as Shuttering for concrete constructional work. They were broken down into 84 pallets with gross weight of 121,627kg; 100 pallets with 130,000kg; another 100 pallets with 130,000kg weight, and 220 pallets weighing 330,800kg.

The federal government has been exploring new revenue sources as a result of the decline in the price of oil amid massive untapped revenue in the maritime sector estimated at N7 Trillion per annum, the bulk of which is lost to leakages in the system.