The House of Representatives at the weekend resolved to probe the Federal Government’s import duty waivers on sugar granted to some companies between 2013 and now.
The Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee investigating the sugar concession policy, Abiodun Olasupo, while interacting with journalists in Abuja that key government functionaries and some companies that benefited from the fiscal waivers would be invited by the probe panel to shed light on its gray areas.
Specifically, he listed those that would be called to the panel to include, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, and other stakeholders, especially the beneficiaries of the waiver regime.
Olasupo hinted that Ad-hoc Committee which will begin its investigations this week, would be critically assessing how the concession policy was operated between 2013 and now.
The lawmaker recalled that the Federal Government adopted the policy of granting a very low tariff and levy to certain companies with the aim that whatever savings made from such fiscal concession would be used to finance sugarcane farming and by implication, create jobs and stimulate economic growth.
He explained: “Our findings in the House show that this hasn’t been done. The House got worried and constituted this committee to look into the books of Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment on the matter.
“The scope covers 2013 to 2016, but we are not restricted to that period. Yes, we may not go beyond 2013, but we can go to 2016 and beyond if it means the committee should do that for us to get the best for Nigeria.
“We are going to get in touch with every actor in this concessionary policy. Whoever that’s involved either minutely or majorly will be invited to come and give their own part of the story.
“Majorly, we are looking at the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. It is through their books that we’ll be able to get all other stakeholders. The minister is the head of the ministry. Definitely we have to invite him”, the lawmaker added.
He pointed out that the Ad-hoc Committee would do everything reasonable to ensure that whoever abused the fiscal gesture would not go unpunished.