The management of the Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS) came under fire in the Senate on Thursday over planned remittance of N1 billion to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as commission from projected N100billion revenue collection.
The N1billion remittance came to the fore when the agency, led by its Executive Chairman, Mallam Abdullahi Attah, appeared before the Senate Committee on FCT for approval of the N8.5billion 2021 budget proposal.
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Trouble for the agency started when the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno North), asked Attah to explain the N1billion planned remittance to FIRS from projected revenue generation in 2021.
The FCT-IRS Chairman, in his response, said the planned remittance as done on yearly basis, is for payment of salaries of 117 FIRS staff who are collaborating with the agency for aggressive revenue generation and collection.
“Out of the entire 130 operatives of the agency, 117 of them are from the FIRS who must be taken care of,” he said.
Angered by the submission, the Committee Chairman wondered why the agency since its creation about four years ago has not recruited enough staff to drive its revenue collections.
“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 you are proposing the same in your 2021 budgetary projections?” he asked.
Other members of the committee described the move as unacceptable.
Sam Egwu (PDP, Ebonyi North) 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?” he queried.
But fielding questions from journalists after the meeting, Attah said the agency is like a baby that should be allowed to crawl first before walking let alone running.
“As far as I am concerned, we have improved from what we met on the ground,” he said.