Wednesday, May 25

N447bn waiver scam‎: Senate indicts BUA Group, Elephant Group, Golden Penny, others

N447bn waiver scam‎: Senate indicts BUA Group, Elephant Group, Golden Penny, others

The Senate on Tuesday indicted Bua Group, Elephant Group and others in waivers, concessions and grant scam between 2011 and 2015.

The waivers were said to be worth about N447 billion.

This was contained in the Report of ‎the Senate Adhoc Committee on Import Duty Waivers, Concessions and Grants, which was considered on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday.

According to the findings of the Committee, there was gross abuse of waivers, grant‎s and Concession by Ministries, Department and Agencies, especially the Budget Office of the Federation that continued to abuse Presidential approval process through reliance on stale delegated powers by former President Umaru Musa Yar’adua to Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, the then Minister of Finance.

The report revealed that Customs Duty Waivers and Concessions have been used by the Budget Office of the Federation to entrench a ‎very destructive patronage system to the economy, whereby very few operators in the economy were singled out for favours, resulting to unfair competition in the system.

In the report of the committee, which was obtained from the Nigeria Custom Service, it was discovered that the Federal Government lost N78 billion in 2011; 2012, N128 billion; 2013, N46 billion; 2014, N87 billion; and 2015 N106 billion,‎ through waivers, concessions and grants.

In the rice sector alone, the Committee asked the Federal Government to recover N1.9 billion; from Kersuk Farms; Bua Group, N3.7 billion; Elephant Group, N1.5 billion; Golden Penny, N284 million; Millan Group, N1.8 billion.

This was because they did not meet the criteria for granting waivers.

In the automobile sector, the Senate also asked the Federal Government to henceforth stop granting waivers for concessionary import of vehicles for international meetings and conferences as it leads to unfair competition.

In the sugar sector, the Senate urged the Federal Government to order Bua Sugar Refinery to pay N31 billion only on importation of raw sugar for obtaining waivers for its backward integration programme.

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