Senate pours encomium on Zenith Bank over full remittance of Customs Collections

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OrijoReporter.com, Customs N30 trillion banks remittance infractions
A crane hauls a container van filled with export materials into a ship 23 September, 2002 at Manila's North Harbor. Trade Secretary Manuel Roxas says factory managers' fears of impending US military action against Iraq may actually help the Philippines attain its four percent export growth target. AFP PHOTO/Joel NITO

The Senate Committee probing the Customs N30 trillion banks remittance infractions has given the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) seven days to recover all monies collected by banks on behalf of the agency.

Among banks directed to make refund are Access Bank, N42bn; Diamond Bank, N75bn;FCMB, N14bn; Stanbic IBTC, N13bn; and others, even as the Committee gave Zenith Bank a clean bill of health.

Committee chairman, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, noted that following its investigations, the Committee found that only Zenith Bank had complied with 100 percent remittance.

Read also: Zenith Bank stronger than the rest -Fitch Ratings

The Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff, which recently completed a successful work on the review of Customs Act, gave the matching order to the apex bank at an investigative meeting with the CBN, Ministry of Finance, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), commercial banks and other stakeholders.

Sen. Uzodinma, threatened that the senate would involve the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should the CBN fail to recover the money within the given time.
The committee had established during the hearing that of the over N30 trillion being investigated by the committee, over N536 billion was terminated at the various banks but not remitted to CBN.

The Senator representing Orlu Zone of Imo State averred that “There are various infractions regarding import and export duties and we have carried out detailed investigation into the matter. Today, we will address the non-remittance of revenue collected on behalf of Customs.

He made it clear that “The only bank that is free of this infraction is Zenith Bank,” stressing that “We must recover what we are able to and moving forward, we must stop this infraction that is affecting our economy negatively”.

However, the Committee gave the banks two weeks to clarify the observed infractions relating to utilised and unutilised ‘Form M’ and Simple Goods Declaration (SGD), and others, including abandoned assessment of Customs Duties and foreign exchange allocation manipulation

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