style[amp-boilerplate] The Senate Committee on Customs, Exciseand Tariff has commenced investigation into over N4trillion revenue leakage in the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) between 2006 and 2016.

The Senate Committee on Customs, Exciseand Tariff has commenced investigation into over N4trillion revenue leakage in the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) between 2006 and 2016.

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Hammed Ali's Customs is now under probe

over missing N4trillion naira

Premium Times reports that Chairman of

the committee Senator Hope Uzodinma said

at a press conference in Abuja that his

committee would stop at nothing in

recovering the money.

According to Uzodinma, preliminary

investigation by the committee revealed

that the N4trillion leakage was as a result of

various forms of infractions including abuse

and non-implementation of Form M (foreign

exchange form).

He said: "The Senate Committee on Customs

has condemned the inability of the technical

committee on the implementation of

comprehensive import supervision scheme to

ensure that the provisions of the Act are

followed to the letter.

"The committee frowns at the quantum of

revenue losses and it will stop at nothing in

ensuring that those involved in this ugly act

would return all recoverable monies with


"The committee also frowns at the level of

collusion and corruption within the Customs


"At the end of our current investigation, all

these will become a thing of the past and

customs revenue will be enhanced and non-oil

revenue will be improved upon.

"What we are investigating is not money

spent. It is the leakages.

"For instance, I am supposed to pay XYZ

amount of duty, I will abandon the

documentation, go get fake documents,

collude with customs, pay maybe a fraction

of it and carry my goods. With that, the true

import circle is not closed.

"Another instance is that assessment is

abandoned, or I fill the form M for example

with a pro forma invoice, apply for foreign

exchange in Central Bank, XYZ amount of

money is allocated to me, money moves in

but no goods shipped.

"I will then go get fake documents, collude

with customs and then retire the allocation."

Uzodinma said his committee had started

investigating activities of companies and

banks indicted in the matter.

He said: "We will not mention the companies

involved because we are also very careful of

the integrity and public perception of some

of these companies, being that some of them

are in the Stock Market.

"We will be diplomatic in carrying out this

investigation. This is to the extent that little

or no damage will be done to the integrity

and image of such companies provided that

government revenues in their hands will be


"I am sure that the executive arm of

government will be willing and interested to

ensure that the monies that are littered here

and there are recovered.

"If they can pay up to five per cent to whistle

blowers to recover money, it means in this

case where no money is required or

whistleblower required, they will be

interested to do justice.

"Having gone through the legislations and

books available to my office as it has to do

with the administration of the customs

service, it only implements policies made by

the Ministry of Finance.

"So, it sounds very strange to hear that

Customs gets up and says they are making a

policy. That is what I am yet to understand

and there is no way to fathom that before the


"The referral is already before us. I was

waiting for him to appear before the senate

before we commence a full blown

investigation into some of those issues that

have been referred to us.

"Concerning the suspended policy on

payment of customs duties on old vehicles,

the committee will continue to interface with

the service to ensure that the policy is

cancelled not suspended.

"The whole idea is about governance and

governance is about the people and nobody is

licenced or entitled to talk about the people

more than the elected representatives.

"So in my view there is no hullaballoo. We

will discuss with them and wise reasoning

will prevail." recalls that the travails of Nigeria

Customs Service boss Hameed Ali started

when he reportedly seized a bullet-proof

Range Rover that reportedly belonged to

the Senate President Bukola Saraki.

Ali also failed to show up before the Senate

to explain controversial policy about paying

duties on old vehicles.

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