The House of Representatives has threatened to stop Guaranty Trust Bank (now reorganised as GTCo), Standard Chartered Bank, Ecobank and Providus Bank for refusing to remit N10.6 billion collected as customs duty to the federal government.
This was the position of the House Committee on Customs when the banks appeared before it on Wednesday. Out of 18 banks being investigated on the matter, four are allegedly owing the federal government about N10.6 billion in unremitted Customs duty collections.
Chairman of the Committee, Leke Abejide , (APC, Kogi) said, most of the banks have been found culpable of not disclosing the exact amount they owed as outstanding remittances of Customs Duty collections running into billions of naira. Similarly, the committee berated Ecobank over their claim of N450 million unremitted funds in their documents submitted to the committee earlier.
Abejide said the committee had after an independent investigation, data collections and analysis of the bank’s transactions on customs collection, have realised that the figure is N3.9bn.
The Executive Director, GTCo, Haruna Musa said some of the figures out of the N103 million liability tagged as unremitted have actually been remitted by the bank.
However, the Ecobank Executive Director, Corporate Banking, Adekola Adeleke claimed that the bank is not owing any other fund.
The committee however commended Providus Bank for their uprightness in their disclosure than the other banks.
The Group Head, Public Sector of the bank, Nasir Muhammed said out of the N213m collected, N129m was submitted late and the remaining balance will be paid promptly.
“I am using this medium to warn them. Out of 18 Banks, I mean 5 out of 18 Banks, we were able to get N10.6bn that they are owing government,” said Abejide.
Chairman of the committee warned that any bank found wanting or holding on to funds collected on behalf of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) will be sanctioned and the outstanding deducted from their accounts by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“Well, we have given them two weeks to go and come back. After these two weeks, we will not have any other option than to write the CBN to deduct the money from the source,”Abejide warned.