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Senate panel uncovers missing $3.3bn in foreign tax

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts on Wednesday said it had uncovered how $3.3 billion was missing from taxes collected by the Federal Inland Revenue…

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts on Wednesday said it had uncovered how $3.3 billion was missing from taxes collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Services and remitted to the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2015.

The committee is probing the federation accounts from 2015 to 2018. CBN officials, led by Deputy Governor Edward Adamu, appeared before the committee to respond to queries by the Auditor-General of the Federation.

Briefing newsmen after a closed door session with CBN officials, the committee chairman, Senator Mathew Uroghide, said the FIRS record showed that $21.3bn taxes was collected in 2015.

The CBN, however, recorded $18bn, a difference of $3.3bn, he added.

When asked about the differences in the amount, Uroghide said the apex bank hinged its argument on exchange rate. He added that the committee had mandated the CBN to submit documents to justify their defence.

Uroghide said from the Auditor-General of the Federation’s queries, the committee “found out that from the taxes collected outside, what we call foreign taxes, FIRS said they collected $21bn, and then CBN is saying that from their own statement, it is $18 billion.

“We now said that what was the exchange rate on your platform that time for us to be able to know whether the $3.3bn is in the account or whether CBN was surcharging FIRS, or whether FIRS was over estimating what they had.

“So, we have asked them to go and bring the documents to us.”

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