The Nigerian House of Representatives Committee on Finance is probing financial institutions in the country over alleged N30bn leakages in foreign exchange.
On Monday, the James Faleke-led committee grilled officials of Citibank over the alleged non-remittance of collections from Value Added Tax and withholding tax.
Among the allegations against Citibank by the committee were outstanding VAT collectibles on known Form A bank transfers by customers ($463, 778, 150), foreign exchange leakage on form A transactions filed with the Central Bank of Nigeria as taxation services but not traced to the Federal Inland Revenue Service collection platforms ($171, 256, 297).
The Executive Director, Operations and Technology, Citibank, Ngozi Omoke-Enyi, however, absolved her outfit of any blame on the basis that it acted within the confines of the foreign exchange monitoring and miscellaneous provision regulations.
Insisting that a lot of transactions that were documented or mentioned do not attract withholding tax or VAT, se said, “It is in the light of this that we have reviewed all the allegations and the transactions mentioned in the report sent to us, and we want to affirm again that we were not in any way contravening of any of the guidelines in the Act or in the foreign exchange manual.”
The committee also pointed at dividend transfers in excess of capital importation on equity without payment of withholding tax ($3,027,298,192), transfers for dividend repatriations with no evidence of capital importation, either foreign equity and payment of withholding tax ($305,725,840) and foreign transfers for principal loan repayment and interest payment in excess of capital importation loan without payment of withholding tax on interest in ($110,635,050).
It also referred to foreign exchange on Form A transfer payment filed with the committee but not traced to CBN returns without payment of taxes ($510,816,573), foreign transfer payment by customers to other bank accounts without Form A documentation ($30,720,856, 807) and foreign exchange purchased from oil export process yet to be accounted for in the foreign sales voucher ($132,878,000).
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