Yesterday, the Senate gave those it referred to as “port cabal” that swindled Nigeria of over N30 trillion in recent times, four days to come clean or face prosecution. According to the Senate, the particular money, which cannot be accounted for, is more than four times the country’s current national budget, adding that it was prepared to prosecute all those involved in the scam.
This was disclosed in Abuja yesterday during the Public Hearing of the Joint Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff, Senator Hope Uzodinma (PDP, Imo West) stated that exploratory findings by the committee into activities of Customs, financial leakages and malpractices in the nation’s ports and revenue system had shown proof of how “a group of unpatriotic persons insolently constitute themselves into a cabal to inflict infractions at the nation’s sea ports”.
According to him, the misdemeanors have become daily happenings at the nation’s sea ports, just as he suspected commercial banks, shipping companies, terminal owners and operators of scheming with officials of Customs and Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, to swindle the country of trillions of naira.
The misdemeanors come in various forms, beginning with abuse and violation of foreign exchange issued by Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, incorrect classification and under valuation of vessels coming into the country, and a host of other things.