British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) has pledged to cooperate with the investigative panel of the Nigerian senate looking into alleged non-payment of duties by several companies in the country.
The Senate, last Wednesday gave executives of Glo Mobile and other firms allegedly involved in N30 trillion Federal Government revenue leakage till Thursday to appear before it for defence.
The other companies given the deadline by the Senate Joint Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff and Marine Transport, probing the revenue loss are British American Tobacco Company, CCEC Nigeria Ltd and Dana Group.
The senate also threatened to arrest the Managing Directors of companies who ignored the invitation.
But the BATN, in a statement issued by Freddy Messanvi, its Legal and External Affairs Director, stated that the company has always worked amicably with appropriate institutions of the federal government.
Here is the statement in full:
‘’On the 31st of July, 2017, we received a letter inviting us to appear before the Senate Committee in relation to allegations of involvement in the N30 trillion revenue believed to have been lost within the import and export value chain. British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN), as a responsible company, has since been officially communicating with the Senate committee in order to comply with their invitation and regulations to ensure a resolution of the issue through extensive engagements,verification and reconciliation exercises.
‘’Over the years, British American Tobacco Nigeria has always maintained a healthy relationship with government agencies, including customs. In 2016, Nigerian Customs service commended the British American Tobacco Nigeria for its contributions to Nigeria’s treasury. We also have a history of ensuring 100% custom duty payments are disbursed on time and in full to secure an incessant flow of required materials. We also ensure we abide by Central Bank of Nigeria and Customs guidelines in relation to import and export processes as required and demanded by the law.
‘’We appreciate the efforts of the government to block all revenue leaks and as good corporate citizens we will continue to comply with the Nigerian regulations. We also intend to work with the government, within the confines of applicable laws, to create an environment where businesses will thrive and harness amicable working relationships through constructive discussions and engagements to ensure Nigeria remains attractive for foreign direct investments in the long run.’’