Home THE NATION Reps to probe banks for diversion of custom duties

Reps to probe banks for diversion of custom duties

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The House of Representatives has resolved to probe the remittance of customs duties to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by commercial banks. 

The House accordingly mandated its committee on Customs and Excise to carry out the investigation from January 2014 till date and report back after within 8 weeks.

The resolution is sequel to a motion moved by Jerry Alagbaoso (PDP, Imo) and 11 others, entitled ‘A need to investigate the Customs duties remitted by commercial banks to the Central Bank of Nigeria from 2014 till date and with proof of such remittance.’ 

Alagbaoso while leading the debate, revealed that nearly all the service provider of the Nigeria Customs Service handed over their Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) services to personnel of the Service on the 1st of December, 2013 and since then, there had been news that commercial banks had remitted billions of Naira in customs duties to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which has generated a lot of reaction in the public domain. 

He disclosed that there is a regime of E-payment and all government revenues such as custom duties, when paid, are credited to the Central Bank of Nigeria almost instantly or within 24hours.

He added that banks in order to make quick investment gain hold on to government revenues unduly.

The lawmaker however expressed concerns that some accounting officials in the bank appear to lose sight of the status of approved ‘Form M’ and their utilization and in some cases, do not bear in mind the allowable period of non utilization, a situation he said adversely affects payment of full duties. 

The Speaker urged the committee to report back to the House within the stipulated period to allow for further legislative actions.

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