Tuesday, June 2, 2020
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Reps Probe CBN, FIRS, Others Over Forex

The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate Nigeria’s apex bank, CBN, and FIRS over alleged racketeering in allocating of foreign exchange.

The House took this decision on Thursday after adopting a motion brought under matters of urgent national importance by the chairman, committee on finance, James Faleke (Lagos, APC).

The CBN is responsible for injecting dollars into the inter-bank foreign exchange market.

It mostly distributes to the wholesale sector, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the invisible segments.

The motion is titled “Urgent Need to Rescue the Country from Over $30bn Annual Revenue Leakages Arising from Various Malpractices in Foreign Exchange Allocation to Companies from Sources Such As CBN, Autonomous, Interbank, Domiciliary and Over-the-Counter Purchases for the Importation of Physical Goods, Payment of Foreign Service Vendors, Dividend Repatriation, Foreign Loan and Interest Payments, Including Foreign Currency Denominated Contracts’ Payments by Companies in Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation and Marine Transportation.

Mr Faleke in his motion stated that the leakages are causing the Federal Government to lose revenue worth over $30billion.

He urged the house to also probe commercial banks, forex dealers, importers and beneficiary companies.

Part of Mr Faleke’s prayer, adopted by the house was that the Committees of Finance; and Banking and Currency will “conduct public hearing by looking into the various originating documents maintained by the CBN, banks, forex dealers, FIRS, importers and other beneficiary companies.”

The committees were also mandated to identify the “perpetrators and the atrocities committed based on verifiable documents obtained from the valuable records.

“Determine in a statutory and in a professional manner, the revenue amount involved in the malpractices by each organisation based on every revenue line item collectable by agency of government for the purpose of timely recovery into government accounts.

“Make a formal report of findings and provide necessary recommendations toward the correction and regularisation of the problems aimed at putting a stop to the menace in the future.”

“Advise the House on the statutory provisions/amendment for penalties as provided in the applicable Law for various related offences as a deterrent to others.”

The speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, while ruling on the motion told the panel to conclude its investigation within weeks.

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