MONDAYBUSINESS MONEY MAT­TERS ‘Too much sum­mons of CEOs by leg­is­la­tures hurts econ­omy’

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Sun­day Michael Ogwu, Lagos

The Lagos Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (LCCI) has de­cried the in­dis­crim­i­nate sum­mons of busi­ness en­ti­ties to ap­pear be­fore com­mit­tees of the Na­tional As­sem­bly, urg­ing them to re­fer in­ves­ti­ga­tions to in­ves­tiga­tive agen­cies of gov­ern­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the LCCI, “Mat­ters that can be in­ves­ti­gated by the statu­tory agen­cies of gov­ern­ment such as the Ju­di­ciary, the EFCC, the ICPC, the FIRS, the Na­tional In­dus­trial Court, Nige­ria Cus­toms Ser­vice should be re­ferred to such in­sti­tu­tions. These bod­ies have the bet­ter com­pe­ten­cies, ca­pac­i­ties, and struc­tures for in­ves­ti­ga­tion of in­fringe­ments of the law. This would en­able the Na­tional As­sem­bly fo­cus on its core du­ties of rep­re­sen­ta­tion and law mak­ing.”

The LCCI in a re­lease signed by its Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, Muda Yusuf, noted the re­spon­si­bil­ity of over­sight and in­ves­ti­ga­tions as pre­scribed un­der sec­tions 88 and 89 of the Nige­rian Con­sti­tu­tion, but urged that the in­ves­tiga­tive pow­ers be ex­er­cised with greater dis­cre­tion to avoid dis­trac­tion to pri­vate sec­tor play­ers, ero­sion of in­vestors con­fi­dence and col­lat­eral dam­age to the econ­omy.

The LCCI says it be­lieves, and in fact pro­motes, the ideals of high eth­i­cal stan­dards in busi­ness and would not con­done or sup­port in­frac­tions against the statu­tory laws by pri­vate sec­tor en­ti­ties.

The re­lease read in part: “We would like to see a leg­isla­tivepri­vate sec­tor in­ter­face char­ac­ter­ized by mu­tual re­spect, fair­ness, and cour­tesy.

“Al­le­ga­tions and pe­ti­tions re­ceived by the Na­tional As­sem­bly about in­frac­tions by the pri­vate sec­tor should be prop­erly verified for cred­i­bil­ity be­fore pre­sent­ing such to the me­dia,” it urged.

The LCCI re­ferred to the al­leged N30 tril­lion rev­enue loss, and miss­ing 288 ves­sels by the Se­nate Joint Com­mit­tee on Cus­toms, Ex­cise, Tar­iffs and Marine Trans­port, where 63 firms were ac­cused of com­plic­ity in the al­leged scam.

“These are grave al­le­ga­tions that needed to be sub­jected to proper scru­tiny be­fore go­ing pub­lic. The im­pli­ca­tions for the na­tion’s im­age and for­eign in­vestors’ per­cep­tion are se­vere,” it stated.

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