Reps to probe commercial banks over duties payment to CBN
by KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja
November 9, 2017 | 6:58 pm| | | Start Conversation
The House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to investigate the customs duties remitted by commercial banks to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from January 2014 till date.
The House therefore mandated its Committee on Customs and Excise, chaired by James Faleke (APC-Lagos) to carry out the investigation and report back to the House within eight weeks for further legislative action.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion entitled ‘Need to investigate the Customs Duties remitted by Commercial Banks to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from January 2014 till date and proof of such remittances,’ sponsored by Jerry Alagbaoso and 11 other members.
In his lead debate, Alagbaoso alleged that some of the commercial banks have resorted to delaying the remittance of government revenue, despite the implementation of e-payment procedure during the period under review.
“All the service providers of the Nigeria Customs Service handed over their, Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) services to the personnel of the Nigeria Customs Service on 1st 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 reactions in the public domain”, he said.
Alagbaso (PDP-Imo) expressed concern that even with the e-payment regime, of which all government revenues such as Customs duties, when paid, will be credited to the Central Bank of Nigeria (TSA) almost instantly or within 24 hours, there have been allegations of non-compliance.
“I am also aware that banks now provide online, all the Forms ‘M’ applied for by importers and so, banks should not delay or hold on to government revenues, especially customs duties, in order to shore-up their deposit base, liquidity or balance in their residual accounts or divert or invest them for some quick returns on investment.
“We should be concerned that some accounting officers in the banks appear to lose sight of the status of approved Forms M and their utilisation and in some cases, do not bear in mind the allowable period of non-utilisation just to dump the Forms ‘M’, which adversely affect the payment of full duties.
“We equally should be concerned that the accounting officers in the banks, in most cases, ignore the difference between the utilisation and application of the Form M, thereby negating the CBN’s guidelines for forex issuance, Form ‘M’ and their utilisation within an allowable prosecution or litigation period which tends to affect Customs duties negatively,” he observed.
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja
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