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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Senate fumes, issues appearance ultimatum to Glo, others, over role in N30trn revenue loss

Senate Joint Committee on Customs, Excise, Tariff and Marine Transport, has ordered Globacom to appear before it on Thursday to explain N30 trillion revenue leakage.
Ordered to appear before the Senate along with Globacom are British American Tobacco Company, CCEC Nigeria, Dana Group, African Wire and Allied Ltd, and Admiral Overseas Nigeria Ltd.
Others are Aarti Steel Nigeria Ltd., Gagsel International, Fries Land Capina, Etco Nigeria Ltd, Encounter Ltd, Edic Chemicals and Allied Distributors Ltd, Don Climax Group and De United Foods.
The Senate committee saddled with probing of revenue loss, gave the otprder Wednesday, insisting that the firms allegedly involved in the N30 trillion Federal Government revenue leakage must appear before it by Thursday for defence.
The ultimatum was given by the chairman of the senate committee, Hope Uzodinma, during an investigative meeting with some of the firms in Abuja.
The committee had earlier summoned the firms but was surprised that between Tuesday and Wednesday, only 14 out of the 30 invited to appear before the committee honoured the invitation.
Frowning at the development, Uzodimma said the refusal of the firms to honour the committee’s summon to Wednesday’s meeting, was a disrespect to the lawmakers and would not be condoned.
He said, “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 told the representatives of the firms present at Wednesday’s meeting that the documents the committee issued them 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.
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“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.
“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,’’ Uzodinma said.

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