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BAT denies involvement in N30trn revenue leakage

BAT denies involvement in N30trn revenue leakage
August 11
10:25 2017
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In reaction to the ongoing probe into the alleged involvement in N30 trillion revenue leakage, the British American Tobacco Company says it has never owed a dime in customs duty payments.

In a statement signed by Freddy Messanvi, legal and external affairs director, BAT said it got a commendation from the Nigeria Customs Service in 2016 for “its contributions to Nigeria’s treasury”.

The senate customs committee had said it discovered that between 2006 and 2017, there was over N30 trillion worth of foreign exchange in form of approved Form M and there was no evidence that the goods came into the country.

“We have identified over 228 vessels with their registration numbers, the terminals where they offloaded and we are going through customs database tracking every shipment and vessel that came and offloaded,” Hope Uzodinma, chairman of the committtee, had said.

“On July 31, 2017, we received a letter inviting us to appear before the senate committee in relation to allegations of involvement in the N30 trillion revenue believed to have been lost within the import and export value chain.

“In 2016, Nigerian Customs Service commended the British American Tobacco Nigeria for its contributions to Nigeria’s treasury.

“We also have a history of ensuring 100% custom duty payments are disbursed on time and in full to secure an incessant flow of required materials. We also ensure we abide by Central Bank of Nigeria and Customs guidelines in relation to import and export processes as required and demanded by the law.

“We appreciate the efforts of the government to block all revenue leaks and as good corporate citizens we will continue to comply with the Nigerian regulations.”

The Nigerian Port Authority had said it was unable to identify the 228 vessels as the documents provided by the senate didn’t contain the registration numbers.

30 CEOs appeared before the senate committee on Wednesday. Their appearance was sequel to a threat to arrest them for failing to honour the committee’s invitation.

Other companies affected include Glo Mobile, Dana Group, Visafone, Crown Flour Mills, De United Foods and ZTE Nigeria.

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