By STELLA UKWUOMA
The Nigerian Senate on Friday ordered the arrest of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of 30 companies operating in Nigeria alleged to have been involved in the revenue loss of the country’s maritime sector to the tune of N30 trillion.
The affected companies had been invited to appear before the Red Chambers to answer allegations against them.
The Senate had mandated the Senate Joint Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff and Marine Transport to conduct a thorough investigation into alleged N30 trillion revenue leakages in the import and export value chain between 2006 and 2017.
However, only 33 companies out of the 63 invited apprear3d infuriating the senators.
Following the failure of the 63 companies to appear before the Senate, the Committee, which on Wednesday threatened to issue arrest warrants by Thursday, said it was extending the appearance till next week.
Announcing the arrest order, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Hope Uzodinma said such disrespect will not be condoned especially as it concerns public funds and asked the obedient firms to study documents presented to them and return next week for defence.
”We have directed the Nigerian Police to arrest the heads of the firms and bring them before us.
If we can suspend our recess as lawmakers to see to the end of this investigation, I see no reason why the firms that have been indicted will not come to defend themselves”, Uzodinma fumed.
The affected companies include mobile giant Globacom, Crown Flour Mills, British American Tobacco, CCECC, Dana Group, Olam Int. Ltd., Hong Xing Steel Co. Ltd., Visafone, African Wire, Star Comments and Allied Ltd. and Aarti Steel Nig. Ltd.
Others are: Abyem-Diva Int. Ltd., Gagasel Int., Friesland Campina, Etco Nig., Edic Chemicals and Allied Distributors, De United Foods makers of popular Indomie noodles, Don Climax Group, Skill G Nig. Ltd., Premium Seafood and La Rauf Nig. Ltd.
Also indicted are: Standard Metallurgical Co. Ltd., Kam Industries, IBG Investment Ltd., Orazulike Trading Co. Ltd., Popular Foods Ltd., A-Kelnal Integrated & Logistics Services, African Industries, African Tiles & Ceramics and ZTE Nigeria.