The House committee on finance has disclosed that it will investigate waivers granted by the minister of finance from 2011 to 2013 which allegedly stands at $9bn.
LEADERSHIP Weekend gathered that the committee took the decision having read the response of the minister of finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to questions on how much the country lost to waivers granted to companies, individuals or corporate organisations bringing in imports.
Specifically, the lawmakers had asked in their 50 questions on the economy: “How much exactly has been the amount of money lost in government revenue as a result of import duty waivers in 2011, 2012 and 2013?”
Though Okonjo-Iweala said in her response that Nigeria only gave out N170,727,078,336 billion Naira (($1,067,727,148 billion) in total from the waiver system in the past three years, the lawmakers have expressed dissatisfaction with the figure, hence the decision to focus on this in an investigative hearing.
Nigeria is said to have lost over N1trillion in revenue in the past three years alone, due to import concessions or waivers issued by the ministry of finance. Only recently, the Nigeria Customs Service disclosed in an investigative hearing on the purchase of two bulletproof vehicles for the minister of finance, Princess Stella Oduah, that Coscharis Motors was granted a waiver that covered vehicles that were sold by the company in the commercial market.
According to an online medium, Sahara Reporters, as much as N1, 435,980,495,810 trillion ($8,975,998,164 billion) which is nearly nine times what she admitted to in her reply, is the true figure involved.
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