Abuja- The House of Representatives has threatened to issue a bench warrant against chief executive officer of banks who fail to appear before it over failure to render account on tax remittances.
The bank chiefs are to appear before the committee to explain their roles in keeping tax payment and remittances.
The House Committee on Finance made the threat at the opening session of the House Committee on Finance's investigation on tax remittances by banks.
None of the bank chiefs honoured the lawmakers' summon, issued on May13.
The Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Abdulmumini Jibrin (PDP-Kano), expressed his dissatisfaction over the refusal by 10 chief executive officers of Nigeria’s mega banks to appear before the committee.
The banks are expected to appear before the committee and render explanations on how their respective banks have been remitting taxes to the Federal Inland Revenue Service(FIRS) in the past three years.
However, 11 banks sent representatives and consultants while representatives of the remaining 10 banks were absent.
The lawmakers said that they would issue a bench warrant against the 10 bank chiefs if they failed to appear before it on May 22.
Jibrin named the defaulting banks as Zenith Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Plc, Skye Bank Plc and Keystone Bank Plc.
Others are Citi Bank, Enterprise Bank, Heritage Bank Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc and Ecobank Plc.
He said that the investigative exercise was in line with global best practices, where banks were placed under tax scrutiny by parliament in view of their strategic role to the economy.
He also said that the investigative hearing was aimed at "shoring " up the revenue base of the government as well amend or enact relevant laws to achieve the desired goal.
The chairman said the committee had resolved to strengthen the FIRS and optimise the potential of the Nigerian tax system.
Jibrin said that the committee’s technical session was billed to start from June 3 to June 5.