Senate probes Customs over N62bn under remittance


senateThe Senate Public Account Committee has launched investigation into how the Nigerian Customs Service under-remitted N62bn in the revenue generated by the agency.

The revealation of the under remittance is contained in 2017 Auditor General Report which is currently being considered by the committee chaired by Senator Ahmed Wadada.

The query reads, “In the report of NCS summary of the monthly collection 2017 total collection for the federation account were N691bn.

“However, the receipt of NCS collection and remittance into Federation Account 2017 showed actual remittance into the account with the CBN for the year under review to be N629bn.

” A comparison of these two documents revealed an under remittance N62bn.

“There was no footnote or any form of additional information attached to the two reports.showing the reasons for the discrepancies neither there was any form of communication of the management on the intention for the future reconciliation or remittance

“The above anomalies could be attributed to weaknesses in the internal control system at Nigeria Customs Service Headquarters Abuja.”

The chairman of the committee therefore asked the Customs to come  up with their defence on the allegation of under remittance within two weeks. .

Meanwhile, the Senate has mandated the Nigerian Port Authority to appear before it over $852m debt by operators.

He noted that the committee based on its commitment to the development and growth of Nigeria is not out to witch-hunt anybody, or want to take anybody to the cleaners.

Wadada added, “The committee under my stewardship with support of my distinguished members have had cause to say this not once, not twice, that we should understand that audited or Auditor-General’s report is not an indictment on any ministry, department or agencies of government, but rather a wake up call for us to know what was wrongly committed by who.

“Going forward, we should find way to correct the wrong to make the system better and we move on to the greater heights.

“Today, the committee is compelled to say what I am going to say concerning the Nigeria Ports Authority,  Nigeria Ports Authority is found wanting on both ends, one, on the Auditor General for the Federation’s annual report and also, on ends of the status enquiry.

“There are issues around Lagos channel management, Bonny channel management and of course, Calabar channel management.  On these issues, the committee respectfully wrote the management of NPA management .  some of the communications were responded to, and some are yet to be responded to.”

Senator Wadada added, “Today the Nigeria Ports Authority supposed to have appeared before this Committee so that we look at queries raised by the Auditor General for the Federation.

“The management team is not here, the MD, Directors and other top management are not here.  They rather chose to send a General Manager to us and at a time the NPA was called to the table, the General Manager was unavoidably absent.  Though, she later came and complained that she went for her medication.

“Some of these queries have got something to do with indebtedness of terminal operators which is almost a billion dollars, eight hundred and fifty two million dollars ninety-three thousand, Seven Hundred and seventy-seven cents.”

He stated, “There is also an outstanding estate rent, shipping dues, and service boats of over 68 million dollars.  The status of long outstanding debtors are all issues to be answered by the Nigeria Ports Authority.

  • “This is not to talk about issues surrounding Lagos channel management and Calabar channel management. We give them 48hours to appear before the Senate Committee”.

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