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Senate probes Volkswagen Group over alleged sabotage, false claims

By News Express on 01/11/2016

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The Senate has commenced investigation into alleged breach of contract by Volkswagen Automobile Group.

The Chairman Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, made this known while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Monday.

He said there were indications that the company was not assembling vehicles in Nigeria as it claimed.

According to him, the committee while on oversight visit to the plant in Lagos, discovered a large number of vehicles in the company’s warehouses supposedly assembled and shipped into Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Volkswagen Automobile Group went into partnership agreement with a private auto company, the Stallion Group for the assembly of the Volkswagen brand of vehicles in Nigeria in 2015.

The chairman said inspection round the facility by the committee showed no serious activities to suggest that the number of cars stored in the warehouses were assembled in Nigeria.

Uzodinma decried that such act was contrary to the country’s automobile policy, which among other things gave restrictions on foreign assembled vehicles.

He said if found to be true, those responsible would be brought to book, adding that the restriction on foreign assembled vehicles was part of measures by the Federal Government to create jobs for Nigerians.

He vowed that the senate would thoroughly investigate the matter and ensure that any breach of contract by the company would be addressed to a logical conclusion.

“What we discovered at the Volkswagen of Nigeria is an issue of national concern.

“We discovered that the type and number of vehicles we have seen stored in this facility is very alarming and it does not help government intention for creating an auto policy that will create local empowerment.

“Despite those restrictions, I am surprised that this company is able to manoeuvre to bring in foreign assembled plants.

“We will take it to every extent that it requires, to ensure that every form of economic sabotage in this economy must be stopped and those behind those sabotage brought to book.”

The lawmaker expressed concern that with recession hitting hard on the country, any form of sabotage that would deprive citizens of their privileges would not be condoned.

Uzodinma further disclosed that the committee had commenced investigation into ports activities and various Customs commands in Lagos State over suspected compromise.

He said while on inspection tour to Idiroko, Seme and Ikorodu area commands of the Nigeria Customs Service, the committee discovered several irregularities  suggesting  that  the Act establishing the service was not being  adhered to.

“What we are doing is going to be a continuous process.

“We will start from the committee level to the Senate in plenary to National Assembly and to consultation with Mr President, that is, the executive and there will be an enforcement programme too.”

On the need to improve the capacity of the Customs service for better revenue generation, the chairman called for Public, Private Partnership (PPP).

According to him, “what is in vogue all over the world is public sector partnering with the private sector and Nigeria will not be an exception.

“The areas that are not possible to immediately fund through the national budget, we should explore the option of PPP and if that happens, it will be a win-win situation and it will create employment for our people. (NAN)

•Photo shows Senator Uzodinma.

Source News Express

Posted 01/11/2016 04:36:24 AM

 

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