Reps Order Suspension Of Customs Duty Collection By Banks

A file photo of customs operatives.

The House of Representatives Committee on Customs has asked the Nigeria Customs Service to suspend banks owing the service from further collecting duties until their debts have been cleared.

Chairman of the committee, Leke Abejide, stated this on Wednesday at a session between the members of the committee and representatives of the banks collecting duties on behalf of customs.

According to him, investigations conducted so far by the committee reveal that five banks collectively owe the service about N10 billion.

The debts, the lawmaker stated, were duties collected by the banks and have yet to be remitted to the accounts of customs.

He stressed that an agreement has been reached with the service to ensure the implementation of the decision of the committee.

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Meanwhile, members of the House Committee on Disability also held a hearing where they revealed plans to initiate a bill to enforce the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disability.

Chairman of the committee, Miriam Onuoha, who disclosed this explained that the bill would aid full enforcement of the act on crimes against persons with disabilities.

The committee, she said, would also commence assessment of compliance to the act, specifically the provision of five per cent employment quota to persons with disabilities in government agencies.

Elsewhere, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said gender balancing to give fair participation in governance to both men and women in Nigeria was an important part of the ongoing amendment of the 1999 Constitution by the 9th Assembly.

He added that the Federal Character Principle, as currently captured in the Constitution, was being redefined to go beyond ethnicity by including gender and other variables.

Gbajabiamila, who received a delegation from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) at the National Assembly in Abuja on Wednesday, stated that care for persons living with disabilities had received the attention of the Nigerian legislature.

He explained that a number of bills seeking to amend the Constitution by making clear provisions on gender balancing, federal character review, and the disability question were in progress at the House of Representatives in particular.

“What we are doing is that we are going through a constitutional amendment process,” the speaker was quoted as informing the delegation. “We are looking at gender issues in a way to address the two sides.

“Even in the way we apply the federal character principle, we want to go beyond ethnicity to include gender and others as well.”

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