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Tuesday , 12 December 2017

N30tn revenue leakage: Senate refers culprits to EFCC

The Senate Joint Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff; and Marine Transport, investigating the alleged N30tn revenue leakage in the import and export value chain of Nigeria’s economy, has said companies found culpable of corruption, will be referred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for prosecution.

The Chairman of the joint committee, Senator Hope Uzodinma, told journalists in Abuja on Wednesday that companies to be handed over to the EFCC were those found to have manipulated the foreign exchange procedure or involved in money laundering, round tripping and abuse of foreign exchange manual.

He stated that the committee would pass all the established evidence against the companies to the EFCC for immediate prosecution.

According to Uzodinma, the committee met with 50 of the over 60 companies under investigation, while 10 are “on the run.”

He said the committee would ensure that the companies were fished out by the relevant security agencies.

The lawmaker however said some of the companies had returned a significant amount of money.

He stated, “Many of those companies have paid partially; I know that with the evidence we have against them, we are confident that these companies are now aware that we caught them. We cannot let go of what belongs to the government.”

Uzodinma added that indicted companies would be recommended for blacklisting by the Nigeria Customs Service.

The senator said, “We have also established another department of the investigation, which is abuse of fiscal policies from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

“Most of these companies, which have applied and gotten approval as manufacturers or assemblers of various products, but import finished goods in the name of CKD, will be charged with economic crime.

“We are going to follow up the prosecution with all evidences available to us.

“As we are about to conclude our investigations on the 60 selected companies being currently investigated, it is very clear that so much collectable revenue are still hanging. These are monies that government would have used to ease governance and provide necessary infrastructure and amenities to the citizenry.

“These are just 60 selected companies. We are visiting over 1,000 companies.”

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