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Only Zenith Bank is free from N30trn Customs remittance infractions—Senate


Whereas the Senate Committee probing the Customs N30tn 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 without remitting them over the years, it has given Zenith Bank clean bill of health that it remitted all accordingly.

Others banks in order of what they will refund include Access Bank, N42bn; Diamond Bank, N75bn; GTB, N290bn; FCMB, N14bn; Stanbic IBTC, N13bn; First Bank, N27bn; and others.

The Chief Hope Uzodinma led Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff who 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.

In his ruling, Chairman of the committee, Sen. Uzodinma, handed down the ultimatum saying, 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.