Lawmakers Summon Emefiele, Adeosun Over N30tr Customs Probe

Lawmakers Summon Emefiele, Adeosun Over N30tr Customs ProbeThe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele and the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun have been summoned by the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff over alleged N30 trillion import duty scandal.

The Senate Committee also invited the Managing Directors of all commercial banks, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Nigeria Customs Service and Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and they are expected to appear before members of the committee on Tuesday this week.

The Chairman of the committee, Hope Uzodinma, told journalists in Abuja that the invitation was part of ongoing investigation on the issues.

“The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria has been directed to appear with the Managing Directors of all commercial banks responsible for collecting import duties and levies on behalf of the Federal Government. All Managing Directors are expected to be here in person as the committee will not allow representation.

“We will also invite FIRS that has the statutory responsibility of ensuring that all taxable issues are resolved as and at when due. We are also inviting CAC that has the identity of the operating companies in Nigeria”, Uzodinma said.

“The Nigerian Customs Service, the Department of Trade and Exchange of the CBN are expected at the meeting. We will meet to discuss our findings with them and ask questions. We will then move into companies that are currently operating what we call cartel in the country. These companies have evaded so much taxes running into so much money that government would have used for the provision of social services and critical infrastructure.

“You will recall that the Senate mandated the committee to investigate the entire import and export value chain. This is with a view to identifying areas of revenue leakages and to what extent all these monies have been carted away. We have done some preliminary investigation and we have identified areas of infractions and we have collected necessary documents from relevant agencies of government and the private sector,” he said.

Uzodinma expressed confidence that the committee would recover, if not all, but a chunk of the monies it was investigating.

He assured that the committee would further engage relevant anti-graft agencies to prosecute culprits to act as deterrent, at the end of its finding.

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