Senate summons CEOs of BAT, CECC over N30 trillion probe

Senate summons CEOs of BAT, CECC over N30 trillion probe

The Senate on Wednesday gave executives of Glo Mobile and other firms allegedly involved in N30 trillion federal government revenue leakage till Thursday to appear before it for defence.

The other companies given the deadline by the Senate Joint Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff and Marine Transport, probing the revenue loss are British American Tobacco Company, CCEC Nigeria Ltd and Dana Group.

Also affected are African Wire and Allied Ltd, Admiral Overseas Nigeria Ltd., Aarti Steel Nigeria Ltd., Gagsel International, Fries Land Capina, Etco Nigeria Ltd and Encounter Ltd.

They also include Edic Chemicals and Allied Distributors Ltd, Don Climax Group and De United Foods, makers of Indomie noodles.

The Chairman of the committee, Hope Uzodinma, gave the ultimatum at an investigative meeting with some of the firms in Abuja.

He decried the failure of the firms to honour the committee’s invitation to Wednesday’s meeting, saying it was disrespect to the National Assembly and would not be tolerated.

Mr. Uzodinma said that of the 30 firms invited between Tuesday and Wednesday, only 14 appeared before members of the committee.

According to him, the chief executive officers are expected to cut short whatever engagement they have to honour the invitation in view of the magnitude of the investigation.

“It is only in Nigeria that the Senate will invite an entity for an interactive session, particularly in a case that borders on investigation, financial mismanagement and infractions, and the company will be complacent.

“The companies will not be willing to come or sometimes send junior officers.

“I have directed, and we are working with security agencies, that any company that is invited and has something to explain and refuses to appear, we will issue a warrant for such persons to be arrested.

“We are giving them the final opportunity to appear and if they fail, we will issue a warrant of arrest.

“In this investigation, we are working with the Nigeria Police.

“This is because we are using their facilities to process some of our data so that the information we will present to the public will be information with high integrity that will not be questioned by anybody.

“We have directed that the firms must come tomorrow, Thursday unfailingly,” he said.

Addressing representatives of firms present at the meeting, Mr. Uzodinma said that they would be given documents arising from the investigation carried out by the committee to study and comply.

He said that the documents specified the various forms of infractions carried out by each of the firms involved in the import and export value chain.

“We have put everything in different categories and for category one, it is unutilised Form M. You applied for Form M and approval and allocation were given.

“But, rather than import with the allocation, God knows what happened because you did not do that.

“Then pre-arrival assessment report that was issued, you abandoned them yet you took your goods. We do not know how you took the goods away and the money is still open in the data base.

“Then Single Goods Declarations (SGDs) which you people did by yourself then abandoned and yet collected your goods.

“These are all indicated in the documents we have handed over to you.

“So, if there are such legitimate approvals, we want to see a copy, otherwise we will assume that they were not cancelled, in which case we will be expecting you to make payment,’’ he told them.

“On classification, we have cases where a pre-arrival assessment is carried out and a particular item is classified under a particular HS (Tariff Handbook) Code.

“When you now go to SGD, if it is a classification of 35 per cent, you see that you declared five per cent instead of the 35 per cent that was issued to you.

“So, we have worked out the difference. Unless there is evidence that what you shipped were no longer what came to Nigeria which we doubt, you will be liable.

“Then, wrong classification is another category. That one deals directly with those bringing vehicles with reverse gear and you declare them as CKD.

“For instance, Dag Motorcycle Industries Ltd, when you bring in tricycle which has reverse gear, there are cases where they are classified wrongly.

“All these must be submitted on Monday so that by Wednesday we will be able to deal with definite figures on what amount of money that we should be expecting to receive as unutilised foreign exchange allocation,’’ he added.

The lawmaker expressed concern that most approved Form Ms were not given to genuine users, leading to increasing exchange rate.

He said the committee would ensure that henceforth, foreign exchange was given to genuine importers to strengthen the Naira against foreign currencies as well as improve employment opportunities, among other benefits.

He stressed that the committee was extending its investigation to the operation of Free Trade Zone Agreement.

Mr. Uzodinma said, “most of you who have been importing in the name of free trade zone, under that policy you know you have to do 30 per cent value addition.

“But, we have identified all the trade free zones that imported finished goods and those goods did not even get to the free trade zones.

“The goods ended up in the various warehouses in Apapa, and when they make the money, because there is no documentation, they have surplus Naira.

“With the surplus Naira, they in turn buy dollar at any rate and in the process kill our local manufacturers, who really want dollar to be able to do their businesses.’’

The joint committee was mandated by the Senate to carry out holistic investigation into alleged N30 trillion revenue leakages in foreign exchange and the entire import and export value chain between 2006 and 2017.

The committee has so far met with all indicted commercial banks as well as government agencies and is currently meeting with the companies alleged to be involved in the unwholesome acts.

(NAN)

aljazirah adverts


follow us on twitter @aljazirahnewsng
Like us on Facebook @aljazirahnewsng

Share This:

Related Posts

Agbakoba asks court to sack Buhari as petroleum minister A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, has urged the Federal High Court in Abuja to restrain President Muhammadu Buhari from continuing to hold the office of the Minister of Petroleum Resources. The SAN contends that Section 138 of the 1999 Constitution forbids the President from “hold...
Buhari must justify appointments, projects – CACOL The Executive Chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, Debo Adeniran, has urged people not to be quick in criticising President Muhammadu Buhari on the perceived nepotism in appointments and projects allocations carried out by his administration. The CACOL boss, however, ...
Alaafin picks Gani Adams as new Aare Ona Kakanfo The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Sunday declared the National Coordinator of the Oodua People’s Congress, Gani Adams, as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland. The position was held last by the late MKO Abiola, who died in the detention camp of the late military dictator, Gen. Sani Ab...
Death toll from Somalia bomb attacks rises to 300 – Official... Authorities on Monday confirmed that 300 people died in twin bomb explosions in Mogadishu, as locals packed hospitals in search of friends and relatives caught up in Somalia’s deadliest attack in a decade. Abdikadir Abdirahman, director city ambulance service, told Reuters on Monday that the deat...
EU ministers approve new sanctions on North Korea The EU imposed fresh sanctions on North Korea on Monday as part of international efforts to punish the pariah regime for its nuclear and ballistic weapons programmes. Foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg signed off a new package of measures including a ban on investments in North Korea and on ...
Court adjourns Sen. Misau’s arraignment until Thursday The Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama on Monday adjourned until Thursday the arraignment of the Senator representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District, Isah Misau, who was charged by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation with making injurious falsehood against the Inspe...
Kachikwu’s Abuja house catches fire The private residence of Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, caught fire on Sunday evening. The house is located in Asokoro, Abuja. The fire started in his bedroom as a result of a suspected electrical fault to the air conditioners, sources in the know said. “Kachikwu w...
EDITORIAL: Our position on Senator Misau and IGP altercation The rift between the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Navy, Senator Isah Hamma Misau (APC, Bauchi) and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has sent tongues wagging among the citizenry on the veracity or otherwise of the profuse allegations emerging from both sides. The rift started...
Lawmaker decries bad state of Lagos-Abeokuta highway A member of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon Aina Akinpelu, has decried the deplorable state of the ever-busy Lagos-Abeokuta expressway and appealed to the Federal Government through the Ogun State Government for urgent repairs. Aina representing Ado-Odo/Ota 1 State Constituency in the Assem...
State House clinic: Perm Sec blames non-release of funds for... Following the well-publicised poor condition of the State House Medical Centre (SHMC), State House Permanent Secretary, Jalal Arabi, has blamed the situation on the non-release of allocated funds by the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Budget and National Planning. In a statement issued in Abu...
Fresh crisis in Plateau, 20 houses razed, 8 arrested No fewer than 20 houses were burnt, following a fresh outbreak of crisis between residents of Irigwe community and herdsmen in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State. Men of the Operation Safe Haven in charge of security in the state, have arrested eight people in connection with the incide...
Nigeria seeks re-election into UN Human Rights Council Nigeria has launched a bid for re-election into the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the 2018-2020 term. The election is scheduled for Monday at the UN headquarters, New York. Audu Kadiri, ambassador/permanent representative of Nigeria to the UN office and other international organisations ...
Enugu LG Polls: APC warns PDP, ENSIEC against rigging he All Progressives Congress (APC) at the weekend flagged off its campaign for the November 4 local government election in Enugu State, with a strong warning to the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) against rigging the election. The p...