By Emman Ovuakporie
ABUJA – MEMBERS of the House of Representatives have summoned the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adeshina and others over alleged N21billion rice importation tax evasion scam.
Vanguard reliably gathered that the ministers and 25 rice importers are expected to explain to the lawmakers how over N21bn tax was evaded despite the provision of subsidy by the Federal Government to the importers.
A source privy to this development who spoke to Vanguard in confidence said “the whole exercise was grossly abused by the importers and laced with fraud”.
“We’ll unravel those government officials who aided these economic saboteurs and ensure that all the tax they cornered is returned to government coffers”.
“The adhoc committee set up by the House will also ensure that they are speedily prosecuted”.
Asked whether the Nigeria Customs Service,NCS, was also summoned, the source said “yes they are the people that will as a matter of law make available all the necessary statistics at the hearing tomorrow.”
“We’ve also discovered that those who got subsidy were the ones that even evaded tax more than those that did not get a dime from government”.
Also asked how the N21bn was arrived at, he said “that was a simple, it was from all the import duty transactions carried out by the importers”.