First Bank

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Reps probe Citibank over alleged N30 billion leakages in foreign exchange revenue

House of Representatives committee on finance, James Faleke-led members of the committee quizzed officials of Citibank Plc over the alleged infraction, which bothers on non-remittance of collections from Value Added Tax (VAT) and withholding tax.

Among alleged infractions leveled against Citibank by the committee were outstanding VAT collectibles on known Form A bank transfers by customers ($463, 778, 150), foreign exchange leakage infractions on form A transactions filed with CBN as taxation services but not traced to the Federal Inland Revenue Service collection platforms ($171, 256, 297).

Faleke said the committee also discovered that Citibank had Form A transfer by customers through their bank accounts that were not filed with the CBN and committee, with no evidence of withholding tax amounting to $3, 107, 398, 073.

Citibank Executive Director Operations and Technology, 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.

She insisted that a lot of transactions that were documented or mentioned do not attract withholding tax or VAT.

She added: “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 in contravention of any of the guidelines in the Act or in the Foreign exchange manual.”

Other alleged infraction includes foreign exchange inflow from capital importation yet to be accounted for in the foreign exchange sales voucher ($17, 655, 410, 376), form A transfers for loan repayment and interest with no evidence of capital importation and payment of withholding tax on interest ($210, 013, 266), capital importation on loans with no evidence of principal repayment and interest payment ($1, 072, 868, 110), capital importation on equity with no evidence of dividend payment and capital repatriation ($ 1,134, 835, 320).

The committee also disagreed with the bank’s position on advertisement, saying it was a taxable item.

Faleke, therefore, directed the bank to make available all the receipts of various transactions.

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