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Senate uncovers $3.3bn non-remitted Foreign taxes in CBN, queries $21.3bn remittance by FIRS

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts on Wednesday said that it had found an non-remitted $3.3billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The Senate committee also disclosed that $21.3 billion revenue was collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service ( FIRS) as foreign Tax  in 2015, without any explicable remittance.

The probe by the Senate came up following  some discoveries when the CBN forwarded to the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, through the office of the Auditor General of the Federation, that FIRS recorded $21.3 billion as total sum of foreign Tax collected by it in 2015 and domiciled in the Apex  Bank, CBN. It also said that $18billion was recorded by the bank.

On the strength of the query, the committee led by Senator Mathew Urhoghide ( PDP Edo South),  took up the CBN management to explain the shortfalls which the Apex Bank’s Deputy Governor ( Corporate Affairs ), Edward Lamatek Adamu, couldn’t explain convincingly when he appeared in Senate on Wednesday.

However, the Deputy Governor of CBN in his frantic effort to convince the Senate committee that the shortfall of $3.3billion was not missing or unremitted, proffered that variations in exchange rate during the time, resulted into the difference of amounts recorded by FIRS and CBN.

But the Senate committee was dissatisfied with the explanation and ordered that all top officials of the CBN should report back to it on Monday with relevant documents on the alleged variations in the exchange rate.

Senator Mathew Uroghide, Chairman of the Senate committee told newsmen that “while the record of FIRS showed $21.3 billion, the record of CBN showed $18 billion.”

“When CBN was asked about why the differences in the amount, the Apex hinged its argument on exchange rate , upon which officials of the bank are directed to come up with supporting documents if they have.

“There were 13 queries raised concerning CBN. Today, they have explained some while some are yet to be sufficiently explained , particularly the $3.3billion difference it has from the $21.3billion foreign taxes remitted by FIRS”, Urhoghide revealed.

Consequently, the Committee has fixed Tuesday next week for some government establishments, including the Nigerian Army, the Police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) to appear do defend allegations on unaudited Accounts.

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