Two foreign rice importing firms, Stallion Group and Olam International are owing Nigeria N44 billion as import duties on rice they imported since May 2014.
To this end, the Senate Ad hoc Committee on Rice Waivers, which revealed this during its sitting yesterday, has vowed to recover the money from the companies.
The committee, which is investigating alleged abuse of rice waivers’ policy in the country, insisted that the country must recover the amount from the two firms.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Adamu Aliero, who spoke when top representatives of the companies appeared before his committee, said: “There is no way the government will ignore this kind of money.
“We have to ensure that this money is collected and deposited into the federation account.
“The companies imported rice into the country without paying waivers, off-loaded it into their warehouses only to refuse to pay required duties when asked by the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS.”
He said when NCS demanded the money from Stallion Group, the company opted to drag NCS to court.