Senators revealed on
Thursday that a whopping sum of N585 billion
was lost by the federal government of Nigeria
from 2011 to 2014 to indiscriminate waivers
granted on importation of rice and other
This shocking revelation was made on the floor
of the senate when a motion on Indiscriminate
Use and abuse of waivers for Rice Importation
was debated by senators and urged federal
government to stop it forthwith.
The Senate also mandated Central Bank of
Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and
the Comptroller General of Customs, Abdullahi
Dikko, to ensure that all import duties due to
government is forthwith recovered.
The upper chamber also set up an ad-hoc
committee chaired by Senator Adamu Aliero
(APC Kebbi Central) to look into this policy
regime and simultaneously carry out its holistic
review with a view to determining government
revenues lost to waiver policy.
The committee was also mandated to look into
all issues relating to waivers, concessions and
grants with a view to determining full
government revenues in relation to this policy.
Adebayo Ibrahim in his lead debate said the
flagrant abuse of waiver scheme has severely
eroded federal government’s rice production
policy by allowing importation of huge quantities
of the commodity in excess of their approved
According to him, a recent Senate interaction
with CBN revealed how importers have overshot
their quota and consequently owing the federal
government import duties running into billions of
He further argued that instead of importers
paying as huge as 70 per cent duties and levies
to the federal government, they are granted
waivers and thereby denying Nigerians
He also said instead of punishing defaulting
importers, the outgone federal government
rewarded them with fresh waivers to import
more in its twilight.
Ibrahim also disclosed that the federal
government loses as much as N71 billion on
duty waivers to importers of rice, palm oil,
energy equipment, steel and vegetable oil
annually, recalling how the federal government
gave import duty waivers to 10 rice and palm oil
importers amounting to N150 billion in 2011.