The Presidency may have authorized the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to constitute an audit panel to probe the accounts of all 23 banks in Nigeria following allegations of non remittance of taxes collected, among other defaults.
Reports say the Federal Government is expected to rake in about N3.5 billion at the end of the probe, which already has 10 international auditing firms hired for the exercise.
It was gathered that records available showed that most of the commercial banks were not paying proper taxes to government and are also involved in a number of shady transactions, which have denied the government some revenue.
Though most bank headquarters have remained busy, an insider said most of the management teams of the banks had remained edgy over what might be the outcome of the probe.
“Some of the ongoing investigations of government functionaries by the EFCC is said to have identified most of the banks with some unwholesome activities, leading to cover up of some illicit deals by the indicted officials, so the sector is under our searchlight,” a top official disclosed.
The RMAFC official alleged that the exercise, covering July 2012 to December 2015 period, is to unravel, if any, the actual duties and taxes that the banks had collected from their customers, but refused to remit to government coffers.
It was also learnt that the audit firms had a period of six months to submit their report to the Federal Government.
It would be recalled that the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) boss, Babatunde Fowler, had in August 2016 alleged that some of the revenues from taxes, levies and duties supposedly collected by banks for all the revenue agencies, including the Nigeria Customs Service and the Department of Petroleum Resources, were usually not up to projection.
A Presidency source, justifying the exercise said this is not new to the bankers as similar exercise was carried out between January 2008 and June 2012.
It was said to have revealed that the banks had failed to remit about N12.5 billion, being outstanding taxes and duties collected on behalf of the revenue collecting agencies.
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