By Emma Ovuakporie
ABUJA—THE House of Representatives Committee on Customs will next week begin a probe into the multi-billion Naira fraud allegedly committed by some companies granted import duty waivers by the federal government.
Chairman of the committee, James Abiodun Faleke, who spoke to journalists yesterday, accused the companies involved in the import duty waiver fraud of breaching importation procedures, resulting in the federal government incurring huge losses in revenue.
Faleke disclosed that 29 firms involved in the import duty scam had been summoned to appear before the committee, to enable them clear the charges against them or face the wrath of the law.
The lawmaker cautioned that all the companies invited were expected to appear on the date allotted to them unfailingly or risk sanctions by the House committee.
“You recall the House in plenary on December 9, 2017, mandated the committee to investigate these alleged infractions of import procedures leading to monumental loss of revenue to the nation.
“The committee is determined to carry out a thorough forensic investigation in line with its mandate,” he declared.
According to him, the unpatriotic and fraudulent act of some of these companies had cost the nation a lot financially, saying: “We are talking of losses probably in trillions of Naira that should have accrued to our common purse.”
The committee chairman assured that the investigative hearing was not on a witch-hunt mission but an altruistic and patriotic mission aimed at recovering the collective patrimony of all Nigerians from unpatriotic elements and corporate entities.
Faleke explained that letters detailing the alleged infractions had been dispatched to the affected companies for their appropriate responses and in the spirit of fair hearing.