By Henry Umoru
The Senate Thursday took a swipe at the Management of the Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service ( FCT – IRS) over alleged planned remittance of N1billion to the Federal Inland Revenue Service ( FIRS) as commission from projected N100billion revenue collection.
The attack on the revenue-generating agency with regard to the N1billion remittance came up when the agency led by its Executive Chairman, Mallam Abdullahi Attah appeared before Senator Abubakar Kyari, APC, Borno North led Senate Committee on FCT for approval of N8.5billion 2021 budget proposal.
Trouble started with the agency when the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kyari asked Mallam Abdullahi Attah to explain the N1billion planned remittance to FIRS from projected revenue generation in 2021.
Recall that the agency had appeared before the Senate Committee on Tuesday for same purpose, but was asked to reappear yesterday on alleged discrepancies in budgetary proposals submitted.
In his response, the FCT – IRS Chairman explained to the Committee that the planned remittance which is on yearly basis is for payment of salaries of 117 FIRS staff who are collaborating with the agency for aggressive revenue generation and collection.
He said,,” Out of the entire 130 operatives of the agency, 117 of them are from the FIRS who must be taken care of.”
Angered by the submission, the Committee Chairman who wondered why the agency since its creation about four years ago has not recruited enough staff to drive its revenue collections, said, “are you saying that the N1billion remitted to the FIRS from the N50billion generated last year, was for payment of salaries of the 117 FIRS? Being staff of FIRS, are they not on salary structure from the FIRS itself and is that the reason why you are proposing same in your 2021 budgetary projections.?
Also condemning the practice, members of the committee like Senators Sani Musa ( APC Niger East ) , Sam Egwu ( PDP Ebonyi North ) , Smart Adeyemi ( APC Kogi West) and Tolu Odebiyi ( APC Ogun West), described it as unacceptable.
Sam Egwu in taking up the Embattled FCT – IRS boss, said: ” The N1billion being remitted to FIRS by your agency is nauseating and must be stopped.
” If you don’t have enough men to collect the revenue for you, carry out a recruitment exercise for that purpose. Why must you be paying people who are already being taken care of elsewhere salary-wise?
On his part, Senator Smart Adeyemi said ” I’m disappointed in your very poor performance which is enough to throw you out of the window.
” Mr Chairman, please give this man and the non-performing agency marching order.”
At the end of the day, the Chairman told the Embattled FCT- IRS boss and his team to take their leave while their proposals will be thoroughly looked into.
Answering questions from journalists after the meeting, Mallam Abdullahi Attah who noted that the agency is like a baby that should be allowed to crawl first before walking let alone, running, said, ” As far as I am concerned, we have improved from what we met on ground.
” For instance, in 2017 / 2018, when FIRS was fully in charge, N50billion revenue was the total collection, which was increased to N100billion in 2020 and even projected to be N130billion in 2021.”