National Assembly complex
The chief executive officers (CEOs) of nine commercial banks Wednesday escaped the hammer of the lawmakers as they finally appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Finance.
The committee is conducting an investigation into tax remittances by banks. The bank chiefs had last Monday shunned invitation to participate in the investigation, resulting in a threat to issue bench warrant for their arrest.
Among those that appeared before the committee were the Managing Director/CEO, Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and Managing Director/CEO, Keystone Bank Limited, Mr. Philip Ikeazor. Other banks such as Heritage Bank Limited, Sterling Bank Plc, Citibank Nigeria Limited, Skye Bank Plc and Stanbic IBTC Bank were represented by their top officials not below the rank of an Executive Director (ED).
However, Enterprise Bank Limited which was represented by an official below the position of an ED was not allowed to participate at the meeting.
Emefiele, who spoke on behalf of the other bank chiefs, apologised for their inability to honour the earlier invitation.
Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin who expressed displeasure over the attitude of the banks towards parliamentary invitation, gave the CEO of Enterprise Bank 24 hours to present himself before the committee. Jibrin said it was wrong for the banks to treat the invitation with levity.
“We take exception to parliamentary invitation being treated with levity. We don’t think there is anything more important than what the committee is doing on the economy and on behalf of the Nigerian people.
“All we are doing is to improve our revenue base and make sure we get over this yearly budget deficit rituals,” he said.
The committee also gave the banks additional information on the template that had been given to them which they are expected to defend at the next phase of the investigation.http://www.thisdaylive.com