Why we won’t shut down Intercontinental Hotel, by Nigeria Customs


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THE Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has stated reasons why it would not shut down Intercontinental Hotel over allegations of rice importation scam. The NCS is currently investigating some importers of rice for failing to remit charges due to the government.

One of the companies, Conti Agro Nigeria Limited is affiliated to Milan Nigeria Limited, owners of Intercontinental Hotel. Because of this, there are insinuations that Intercontinental Hotel would be shut down by the NCS if Conti Agro Nigeria Limited continues to defy the order of the government to pay the outstanding charges. But the NCS on Saturday said it would not shut the hotel.

It said the hotel could not be held liable for a sin committed by a company that it only associated to it based on the fact that one of the directors has interest in the defaulting company. A statement by the spokesman of NCS, Wale Adeniyi, said: “Nigeria Customs Service has found it necessary to clarify its position on the on-going battle to compel defaulting rice importers to pay outstanding duties owed the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“This clarification has become necessary in view of media reports that Nigeria Customs Service plans to shut down Intercontinental Hotel. The confusion was created in view of the association of its owners, Milan Nigeria Limited with one of the defaulting importers. “Our records have shown that Intercontinental Hotel is not indebted to the Nigeria Customs Service, and will therefore not be shut down as insinuated.

It is also necessary to clarify that the defaulting importer targeted for sanctions, Conti Agro Nigeria Limited is a separate legal entity from Milan Nigeria Limited, owners of Intercontinental Hotel. “The management of Conti Agro has commenced engagement with the Customs to make payments of duty owed by it, and resolve the issue.”

Meanwhile, the management of Milan Industries Limited, owners of Intercontinental Hotel, Lagos has debunked speculations that the hotel would be shut down due to failure to pay duties on rice importation. The company stated that it is not into business of rice importation. According to a statement by the management,

“We, Milan Industries Limited are the owners of Intercontinental Hotel. We are not in the business of importing rice and are a limited liability company; we cannot be held responsible for the alleged indebtedness of another company. “It is also instructive to note that we are not named as a defaulter in the publication of Nigeria Customs Service.

General public should disregard various media reports that Intercontinental Hotel is to be shut down because of our indebtedness to Nigeria Customs Service.”

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