By Adedapo Adesanya The House of Representatives has commenced an investigative hearing into an alleged $30 billion annual revenue leakages arising from payments on account of foreign currency-denominated contracts by companies. This was disclosed by the Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Mr James Faleke, and the Chairman, House Committee on Banking and Currency, Mr Victor Nwokolo. The probe into the matter commenced on Monday in Abuja and Mr Falake said that the committee would also look into foreign exchange allocation to companies from sources such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) autonomous, interbank domiciliary and over the counter purchase. The purchases, according to the Chairman, are for the importation and payment of foreign services vendors, dividend repatriation, foreign loans and interest payments. \u201cWe are all akin to Nigeria\u2019s recurring and growing fiscal deficit, and that to sufficiently finance the Federation\u2019s annual fiscal expenditures, the government is left with no choice but to borrow billions of dollars every year. \u201cWe have also seen the real value of the Naira to the US Dollar drop drastically, the dire consequences of which the Nigerian people are experiencing today,\u201d he stated. This, he added, was in spite of the enormous inflows of capital importation and foreign direct investment over the years in numbers that one would expect to translate into revenue generation for the country. He queried the skyrocketing amounts of foreign direct investments and capital importations not reflecting in the economic progress of the country. He stated that it was for this reason that the House of Representatives through its Joint Committees of Finance, and Banking and Currency launched the investigation. The lawmakers, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the billions lost to tax evasion and diversion of foreign exchange allocations annually. Appearing before the investigative hearing was relevant financial institutions to explain their role in the alleged mismanagement of $30 billion revenue leakages. The lawmaker accused Citibank of withholding tax on Value Added Tax (TAX) aggregating to five billion dollars and other foreign exchange revenue leakages of N93 billion were not remitted by Citibank. Mrs Ngozi Omoke-Enyi, Citi Bank Director of Operation while appearing before the committee said that the bank was guided by the foreign exchange monitoring and miscellaneous provision act. She said that the CBN from time to time issued guidelines to regulate transactions on foreign exchange, adding that Citibank was not in contravention of any of the guidelines in the act in the foreign exchange manual. Another bank that appeared before the committee was Fidelity Bank, which explained its role while more financial entities are expected to appear before the joint committee rounds off the investigation.