• The Nigerian Senate yesterday mandated the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to set machinery in motion to recover over $30 billion waivers granted to rice importers by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
  • Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki gave the mandate when top officials of the CBN led by its Governor, Godwin Emefiele visited him in Abuja. Saraki who insisted that the money must be recovered and paid back to government coffers said the waivers were granted on taxes and duties to certain companies.
  • He sad the country cannot succeed in attempts to build a buoyant economy when some people are enjoying unnecessary tax holidays.
  • The CBN governor, he said, should immediately collaborate with the NCS to ensure that the money is recovered and paid back into government coffers. He said the Senate will, when it resume plenary, reconsider Customs Act especially relating to waivers, to strengthen it and plug loopholes.
  • On the issue of smuggling, he said no matter how good the policy on import substitution may be, if smuggling continued the way its going on now, the policy will not be successful.
  • He said government must find ways and means to stop big time smugglers that are well known. Saraki said fiscal discipline has now become important more than ever before.

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