The Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, has described the widely published report in the media that it supported the Presidency with N40bn during the last general elections as a lie.
In a statement on Monday, the agency said the allegations made by former spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Timi Frank which fuelled the story was “wicked, malicious and a calculated attempt” to smear its image and that of the Vice President.
The statement signed by the Head, Communications and Servicom Department, Wahab Gbadamosi, FIRS further described Frank’s allegation as a campaign of “calumny, vilifying, libellous, unfounded in fact, irresponsible and a brazen assault on the integrity of the Service.”
“First it was N90B, but now N40B. Which is which? It took a disgruntled politician to convey the fake news of N90B, now it is the services of an unquestioning PR newswire that is passing on the unsupported, baseless N40B bogus allegation. Whichever way whoever is behind this, a lie is a lie,” the statement said.
The FIRS explained that in the four years that Mr. Tunde Fowler superintended over operations at the agency, it did not receive up to N100 billion, per annum, as Cost of Collection from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC
“That it is from the remittances from FAAC—which had never grossed up to N100 billion, PER ANNUM, that FIRS pays the salary and emoluments and trains it’s over 8000 staff, runs over 150 offices and provides for other needs of the Service.
“FIRS maintains that it was not possible for it to commit all its resources to a phantom campaign of N90 billion as suggested by Mr. Timi Frank given that it barely has enough for its operations.
“That FIRS is a creation of statute and its activities are governed by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and financial regulations and thus, IT IS NOT PLAUSIBLE, that its funds could be expended in such a cavalier manner as suggested by Mr. Timi Frank.
“That FIRS Budget and expenditure approval processes pass through the Budget Office and the Ministry of Finance before such is presented to the National Assembly for Appropriation into Law. The National Assembly committees, consisting of all parties and inclinations exercise oversight function on all agencies of the Federal Government to ensure agencies keep to the letters of the Appropriation Act. Thus FIRS’ operations are subjected to Scrutiny and close monitoring by the National Assembly, the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee and the Ministry of Finance.
“It is therefore unthinkable, malicious and irresponsible for the said Frank to insinuate or infer that N90 billion or any part thereof could be spent illegally and without budgetary approval,” the statement further said.