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SHOCKING: Unremitted N4.8trn: Senate Report Indicts, NNPC, FIRS, Customs, Others |RN

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The Nigerian Senate

…Claims revenue-generating agencies under-remitted N1.7trn in 4yrs 

..NNPC operated N3.1trn deficit

From Fred Itua, Abuja

Shocking revelations emerged at the Senate, yesterday, that almost all  various federal revenue-generating agencies have short-changed the Federal Government to the tune of N1.7 trillion, through under-remittance of revenues generated between 2012 and 2016. It was also discovered that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC), ran at a deficit of N3.1 trillion during the period under review. The N1,695,585,887, 406 reportedly lost by the federal government during the stated period was from N21.5 trillion generated by 93 agencies covered in the Senate investigation.  These facts are contained in the report of an  Ad-hoc Committee on Alleged Mis-use, Under-Remittance, and other Fraudulent Activities  in Collection, Accounting, Remittance and Expenditure of Internally Generated Revenue by Revenue Generating Agencies, set up by Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in November 2016. In the 32 – page report laid before the Senate, last week, a copy of which was sighted by Daily Sun, yesterday, 25, out of the 93 revenue-generating agencies covered, were alleged to have defrauded the federal government of N1.7 trillion. Specifically, the report stated that during the period under review, the Nigerian Customs Service, which generated N335.855 billion,  failed to remit N83.963 billion as 25 per cent of the amount generated, in accordance with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007. Similarly, the the committee discovered that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) generated N455.5 billion but had under-remittance of N33.83 billion. Also included is the Nigerian Ports Authority which recorded under-remittance of N86.636 billion into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), despite generating N789.104 billion. Others are the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), N13.716 under-remittance, out of N3.098 trillion generated, NIMASA, with N184.489 billion under-remittance, out of N301.160 billion generated, Nigerian Television Authority, N5.567 billion under-remittance out of N56.817 billion generated, among others. For NNPC, the committee report stated that while the nation’s cash cow during the period under review generated N15.541 trillion, its entire expenditure during the period was N18.657 trillion, exceeding the corporation’s revenue profile by N3.115 trillion. The committee also observed that revenue-generating agencies chose to comply with a directive, via a memo dated November 11, 2011, with Ref. No. BO/RVE/12235/259/VII/201 by former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala to remit only 25 per cent from the revenue generated and use the remaining 75 per cent as part of its expenditure which is a clear violation of section 1200 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, and also a violation of the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Establishment Acts of some of these institutions. The report showed that most of the revenue-generating agencies denied the Auditor General of the Federation access to their financial books and records, which, in itself, is in conflict with section 125, subsection (3) a (i and ii) of the constitution. Consequently, the committee recommended as follows: “That the Senate should amend the laws, where necessary, to make it mandatory for all revenue-generating agencies to accommodate resident auditors, to be posted by the Auditor General of the Federation, who will have access to all financial records and books, and ensure compliance with section 120 (i) of the constitution. “That the Fiscal Responsibility Act should be amended in a way to compel all agencies and institutions of government on compliance with financial regulations regarding income generation, accounting and remittances. “That the Senate should also amend the laws, where necessary, to make it mandatory for all revenue-generating agencies to accommodate resident Treasury Officers, to be posted by the Accountant General of The Federation, who will have access to all financial records and books. “That  the National Assembly should direct the immediate stoppage of the implementation of the contents of Okonjo-Iweala’s memo and that agencies and institutions should adopt the new mode of remittances, as approved by the Senate. “That the Fiscal ResponsibiliTy AcT (2007) should further be amended to make all revenue-generating Agencies to pay 30 percent of their income generated monthly to the Consolidated Revenue Account before any expenditure, etc.”  (The Sun)

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FG Meets Turkish Ambassador To Discuss Frequent Importation Of Arms From Turkey |RN

Nigeria-Customs

By Christopher Orji and Isaac Anumihe

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday confirmed Daily Sun’s report of the interception of pump action rifles imported from Turkey, saying that the Federal Government has scheduled a meeting today  with the Turkish Ambassador to discuss the frequent importation of arms into Nigeria from a particular country.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos on the recent interception of 470 pump action rifles, the Controller General of Customs (CGC), Colonel Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd), said that all seaports and airports in the country have been put on red alert as the hoodlums might devise a means of using other ports to perfect their nefarious activities.

According to Ali, the federal government would meet with Turkish Ambassador today to discuss ways to check the frequent importation of arms from his country.  “I want to say here that tomorrow (today) by the Grace of God, we will have the first diplomatic meeting with the Ambassador of Turkey, specifically on this issue. Already, our president has discussed this issue at an international forum. He was mandated to sit with us and to resolve on the way forward.  As I promised you, steps are being taken beyond the shores of Nigeria because we must establish what is happening and why it is happening and how we can stop it,” he said

Suspecting that the criminals will avoid the Tin Can port, the CG charged his comptrollers to subject all consignments to proper scrutiny while putting all the ports, including airports, on red alert. 

“In the last eight months including today, we have seized a total of 2,671 pump action rifles and I think we will continue to do this. We are not going to rest on our oars. In fact, I have given my comptrollers a matching order. Now that Tin Can Island Port is becoming too difficult, they will look on to other places. So, we have now put every port, land and airport on red alert. We are going to subject a lot of people to proper scrutiny,” he disclosed.

Ali gave the number of the 20-feet container bearing the deadly weapons as CMAU 189817/8 while the importer of the cargo is Great James Oil and Gas Limited. The vessel is MV Arkas Africa owned by Hull Blyth.

While expressing worry on the audacity of the criminals who engage in the acts, Ali said that the consolation is that the new Nigeria Customs Service is more responsive meeting the challenges posed by the criminals.

“We must rise up and remain vigilant to deal decisively with the enemies of the nation. As our seaports become increasingly impenetrable, we suspect they may want to try other entry points. Let me assure Nigerians that the service is presently at critical alert following my directive to all customs area comptrollers yesterday. We will do all in our powers to further secure this country,” he promised.

He said the government would contact the International Police (INTERPOL) and other relevant organisations to assist in the fight against the importation of deadly arms into the country.

“We have uncovered a syndicate of Nigerians in Turkey who illegally import weapon into the country; we will go after them.

Having identified the country of origin, we will not relent in making sure that we get to the bottom why the importation is coming to a particular country. President Mohammadu Buhari has discussed the issue at an international forum and the Ambassador has been directed to be on the seat with us. We want to know the motive of the importer, whether he is bringing the arms for a militia group in Nigeria”.

Yesterday’s interception of 470 pump action rifles in Tin Can port, was the fourth this year.  On March 10, customs intercepted 661 pump action rifles and on May 23, another 440 pump action rifles were intercepted. On September 11,  1100, pump action rifles were intercepted.  The container with 661 rifles was intercepted along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway after it was duly cleared from the port but, the other three were intercepted before they were cleared from the port. All the items were said to have come from Turkey.    (The Sun)

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Customs Seal Kano Senator’s House, Seize 13 Vehicles |The Republican News

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Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd)

The Comptroller-General of Customs Compliance Task Force, says it has impounded 223 vehicles 13 of which belong to a senator in Kano State.

The task force also said that it seized other items, including foodstuffs worth N269.5m in Kano and Jigawa states within eight months.

The Task Force Zonal Commander, Mr. Bala Dole, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Kano on Monday.

He said the vehicles, belonging to the said senator were; 12 new Toyota Hilux and one Land Cruiser Jeep.

Dole, who declined to name the senator, said the 13 vehicles were trailed from Maigatari in Jigawa State following an intelligence report.

“Based on the intelligence report, the vehicles were 30 in number but we were able to trail 13 of them 12 of which were hidden in the senator’s compound.

“We sealed the house and retrieved the vehicles and they are now in our custody,” Dole said.

He said the other items the task force confiscated during special operations included  9,757 bags of rice, 2,916 of foreign spaghetti, 2,770 cartons of foreign vegetable oil and 999 cartons of macaroni.

He said others were; 889 veils of second-hand clothes, 50 used school bags, 110 cartons of new foreign shoes, 956 bags of mosquito coil and six fairly used cars.

“The total value of the seizure made by the task force since it was established in July 2016, excluding the 13 senator’s vehicles, is N269.5m.

“We have yet to determine the cost of the 13 vehicles belonging to the senator,” he said. (Punchng.com)

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BREAKING: Resign As Customs Boss, Senate Tells Hameed Ali

BREAKING: Resign as custom Boss, @NGRSenate tells Hameed Hameed Ali

The Nigerian Senate has declared Nigeria Customs Service boss Col. Hameed Ali (rtd.) unfit to hold a public office and ultimately demanded his resignation as Customs boss.
The senate resolved that Ali should resign his post after he again failed to appear before the lawmakers as directed by the upper house of legislature on Thursday, March 16.
Senators argued today, Wednesday, March 22, that Ali’s refusal to show up because of the letter the clerk of the Senate received from the office of the attorney-general of federation Abubakar Malami directing the lawmakers to leave him alone because the matter was in court amounted to interference in its duties.
Leading the debate, Senator Dino Melaye of Kogi West said the letter was an affront to the legislature.
He said: “What we heard from the attorney general is an insult.
“How can the attorney-general that we screened in the House tell us how to carry out our duties? This is the first time in the history of black Africa that the attorney-general is telling the Senate what to do.
“This is not an injunction but a mere court process by a third party that ran to court and the attorney-general wants us to stop our work.
“Our rule says that a matter which is already in court cannot be discussed here but not that a matter that is on our floor and an individual quickly ran to court … haba!”
Melaye also noted that based on the provisions of the Customs Act and the Pension Reforms Act 2004, Ali was too old to hold a public office because he was above 60 years and had worked in public service for over 35 years.
He said: “Hameed Ali is above 60. He is not qualified to hold the position of the Customs comptroller general.”
Melaye therefore moved that Ali be declared unfit and told to resign.
Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe concurred.
He argued that “Lest we forget”, the Customs made an obnoxious policy and it was in this process that the Senate invited Ali to explain his policy and not because of any vendetta.
Another Senator Isah Misau representing Bauchi Central argued further that enemies of Nigeria’s progress were working against the President Buhari-led government by giving him bad advices.
He said:”The enemies of Nigeria are in the presidency. They are trying to distract the president from doing his job. They are giving him the wrong advices and throwing obstacles in his way in order to disrupt his administration.
“For instance when the President went on vacation for about 49 days, there were no Boko Haram attacks but immediately he returned, they have started the attacks again to distract the president.”
After all the arguments and resolutions, the Senate also decided to send the attorney-general a warning letter to desist from interfering in legislative matters.
Another motion was moved to send the Senate’s resolution to the House of Representatives for concurrence.        (Authority)

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Why We Have Not Prosecuted Importers Of 661 Rifles-Customs |The Republican News

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IFEANYI ONUBA

The Nigeria Customs Service, on Saturday, explained why it had not prosecuted those arrested for their alleged involvement in the importation of 49 boxes of 661 pump-action rifles, stating that the service had yet to conclude investigations into the matter.

The Assistant Comptroller and acting spokesman for the NCS, Joseph Attah, told our correspondent during a telephone interview that no action could be taken on the matter now as investigations had not been concluded.

The Federal Operations Unit, Zone A of the NCS had, on January 30, intercepted the 40-foot container containing the rifles along the Mile 2 — Apapa Road in Lagos State.

The FOU officials were said to have discovered that although the manifest said the container had “steel doors and other merchandise goods,” boxes of the weapons were concealed deep in the container.

The rifles tagged, ‘JOJEFF made in Italy,’ could take up to 10 cartridges and could wreak a lot of havoc.

Other items found in the container were diapers, office cabinet, towels, mattresses, soft drinks and toiletries among others.

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), had said the container came from China, but was routed through Turkey to “cause confusion.”

He had explained that three suspects, Oscar Okafor (importer), Mahmud Hassan (clearing agent) and Sadique Mustapha (escort) had been arrested.

Two days later, two customs officers — Abdullahi I, and Odiba Inah — who cleared the container were arrested and transferred to the Customs headquarters in Abuja.

When asked when the suspects would be charged to court since it was up to two weeks that they had been detained, Attah said the outcome of the investigations would determine the next line of action for the service.

He said, “They are facing investigations already. It is only when investigations are completed that appropriate actions can be taken.

“All those concerned with the importation of the rifles are currently under investigations. And when the investigations are completed, the findings of the investigations will determine further action.”  (Punchng.com)

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Customs Implements Ban On Vehicles Import |The Republican News

John Ofikhenua

Image result for Nigerian customs

Comptroller General, Hameed Ibrahim Ali

NCS: vehicles, rice imports prohibited through land
boarders

THE Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has started the implementation of the policy banning importation of vehicles through the land borders with many vehicles trapped at the borders.
The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Seme Chapter, Lagos State confirmed yesterday that many vehicles were trapped at the border posts.
A statement yesterday by the Customs Deputy Public Relations Officer, Mr. Joseph Attah, quoted the Comptroller-General Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd), as reiterating the Federal Government ban on importation of rice and vehicles through the land borders.
He urged officers and men of the service to ensure maximum collection of revenue and strict implementation of government’s fiscal policy.
The Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Seme Command, Mr. Selechang Taupyen, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Badagry that the service had to comply with government’s fiscal policy.
Taupyen said the command’s officials had been placed at strategic places to curb any form of smuggling of cars.
The Federal Government had on December 5 placed a ban on importation of used and new vehicles through land borders with effect from January 1, 2017.
“The Federal Government has directed that importation of cars through the land borders should be banned and we are the agency that would enforce it. So, we have started with that.
“The border is close to the point of importation of cars and the command has placed its men and escorts at strategic places to ensure that there is no smuggling of cars through the border.
“We also have a good working relationship and synergy with other security agencies, who assist us in enforcing this policy because we all work for the same government.
“We advise the public to abide by the government policy and if they must purchase a car, then it should come through the seaport as any vehicle that tries to come through the land border would be seized and confiscated.
“Violators of the law would face the full wrath of the law,’’ he said.
Taupyen added that the policy was meant to encourage local production of vehicles.
“The public must look at the long term benefit of this policy as this would help in encouraging local production of vehicles and it would boost the economy,” he said.
The Chairman of ANLCA, Alhaji Bisiriyu Danu, said as at Friday, December 30, 2016, the Customs authorities asked the agents to stop payment of Customs duty on vehicles by 5p.m.
Danu said the association was not aware of any circular counter to the ban.
He said so many vehicles uncleared by Customs agents were as at yesterday morning trapped at the ports of neighbouring countries.
The Customs agent said the association went into dialogue with some government representatives to grant a three-month grace period.
Danu said the grace period would enable ships carrying vehicles to berth for clearance before implementation of the ban.
The Customs agent said the ban would render many car dealers around Badagry and environs idle and this could be a dangerous trend.
A major stakeholder in Seme, Chief Sam Maduike, pleaded with the Federal Government to lift the ban.
“The policy is going to bring untold hardship to the masses as the average Nigerians cannot afford to buy a brand new car,” he said.
The President of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, Mr. Lucky Amiwero, told NAN that the Federal Government should inaugurate a committee to look critically into the implications of the ban on vehicle imports.
He said government should also look at the risk of the ban to the lives of Customs officers because there would be increase in smuggling.
Amiwero said a question that should also be asked is: “Are Nigerian Ports friendly to accept vehicles?”
He urged government to address the high cost of doing business in Nigerian ports.
The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) yesterday said it supported the ban.
Its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Stanley Ezenga, told NAN that the association’s support was borne out of the economic benefits that the policy would bring to the nation.

Customs re-deploys senior officers

THE Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday re-deployed eight Assistant Comptrollers-General and 238 Deputy Comptrollers-General of Customs.
In a statement made available to reporters in Abuja, its Deputy Public Relations Officer, Mr. Joseph Attah, noted that the action was designed to strengthen operations and reposition the service to meet the challenges of the new year.
The statement said: “In a bid to strengthen operations and reposition the service to meet the challenges of the new year, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd), has approved the redeployment of eight Assistant Comptrollers-General and 238 Deputy Comptrollers of Customs.”
With the redeployment, which takes immediate effect, the following Assistant Comptrollers-General: ACG Charles Edike has been moved from Zone A to Human Resource Development (HRD),     ACG Ahmed Mohammed deployed from HRD to Zone B, ACG Aminu Dangaladima moved from Zone B to Enforcement.
Also, ACG Francis Dosumu was been deployed from Enforcement to Zone D, ACG Augustine Chidi moved from Zone D to Excise, Free Trade Zone and Industrial Incentives (Ex,FTZ, & I I),  ACG Monday Abueh moved from Ex ,FTZ, & I I to Zone A,  ACG Umar Sanusi from HQ to Zone C,  ACG Abdulkadir Azerema from Zone C to HQ.”
The statement added that the redeployment of Deputy Comptrollers of Customs affected the Service Public Relations Officer, DC Wale Adeniyi, who is now posted to Apapa Customs Area Command, Lagos.  (The Nation)

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Customs Roadblocks In South East Is Illegal-Lawyer |The Republican News

By Romanus Okoye

Second Vice President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and human rights lawyer, Monday Ubani has condemned too many Customs roadblocks along Lagos-Ore-Benin-Onitsha Road, describing it as illegal.
In a telephone interview with Daily Sun yesterday, Ubani said it was an aberration that Customs allowed contraband goods to enter through the borders “only to mount roadblocks along the roads leading to a particular section of the country and start confiscating goods that had been cleared or have been illegally allowed to enter the country.”

Read also: Operation Python Dance: Society For Civil Liberties Call It Militarization, Extortion Of South Eastherners
He advised Customs to strengthen security around the borders and ensure that contraband products are not allowed in, instead of engaging in illegality.
“They cannot probate and reprobate. What they are doing currently is  illegal. It is just that no one has challenged it in the court. Once it is challenged in the court and there is a court pronouncement, the illegality will stop.
“There is no other part of the country where you have such number of road blocks which you find along Lagos-Ore-Benin-Onitsha Road. Such action appears discriminatory and will aggravate the demand for state of Biafra, because it appears to be targeted at a particular people,” he said.
However, Ubani said the Igbo are better of within a united Nigeria under true federalism, where there is equity, justice and fairness.
“My fear about the demand for state of Biafra is that Igbo leaders of today have not demonstrated their ability to lead. Are they not the ones we have as governors, senators etc. Let the leaders demonstrate true leadership.” (The Sun)

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