Connect with us

Legislature

Senate panel beams searchlight on FCT- IRS over N1billion pecks to FIRS staff

Published

on

Spread the love

Senate panel beams searchlight on FCT- IRS over N1billion pecks to FIRS staff
.**Agency boss scores self high on performance

The Senate on Thursday quizzed the Management of the Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service ( FCT – IRS) over alleged planned   remittance of N1billion to Federal Inland Revenue Service ( FIRS) as commission from projected N100billion revenue collection .

The N1billion remittance matter 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 N8.5billion 2021 budget proposal .

The agency had earlier appeared before the Senate Committee headed by Senator Abubakar Kyari ( APC Borno North), on Tuesday for same purpose but was made to re – appear Thursday on alleged discrepancies in budgetary proposals submitted.

However the bubble bursted 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.

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 .
Apparently piqued by the submission, the Committee Chairman said he was at aiss ad to 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 why you are proposing same in your 2021 budgetary projections? he asked.

Coroborating the chairman’s position the in 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 recruitment exercise for that purpose. Why must you be paying people who are already being taken care of elsewhere salary wise? , he thundered .

Also lampooning the IRS boss, 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 “

Consequently, the Chairman in his ruling , told the Embattled FCT- IRS boss and his team to take their leave while their proposals will be thoroughly looked into.

But fielding questions from journalists later ,, Mallam Abdullahi  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 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”, he explained.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Legislature

National Food reserve Agency Bill scales through amidst opposition at senate

Published

on

By

Spread the love

National Food reserve Agency Bill scales through amidst opposition at senate

The Senate, on Wednesday, passed a bill seeking to establish the National Food Reserve Agency for Food security despite disagreement over its powers by senators.

Before the bill was passed, senators engaged in a heated debate over the powers of the National Assembly to legislate on the establishment of the agency. 
However, the Bill saw the light of day when the President ruled in its favor..

The bill was passed after the Red Chamber considered the report of its committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Senator Abdullahi Adamu, in his presentation, said, when established, it is expected to implement the overall National Food Reserve Policy to ensure a reliable supply of designated commodities in the country
He said with the existence of the agency, emergency food crises will be taken care of especially during the period of pandemic.

“There will also be a reduction in post-harvest losses as silos, warehouses, equipment, ancillary facilities and other suitable storage facilities will be installed and maintained,” he said.

Senator Ajibola Basiru (APC, Osun) had raised a constitutional matter that the National Assembly did not have the power to legislate on the establishment of the food reserve agency, citing section 4 of the 1999 constitution to back up his argument.

But Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger), Ibrahim Gobir (Sokoto) and Adamu Aliero (Kebbi) countered Bashiru’s submission, arguing that the federal parliament is constitutionally empowered to legislate on matter of security and welfare of the people.

They said the agency was needed owing to the acute insecurity across the country, which has had effect on food production.

Senator James Manager (Rivers) said though there is need for the agency due to the situation in the country, sentiments cannot counter effectively the constitutional matter raised by Ajibola Basiru. 

He asked his colleagues to step down the 
the consideration of the report to another legislative day.

But Senate President Ahmad Lawan disagreed and ruled that the Red Chamber should go ahead with the legislation.

Lawan said: “From a constitutional point of order our colleague raised that we don’t have such power, I think the National Assembly has such powers. I think the emergency in this country requires that we do everything possible to rescue, protect the lives and property of the people of this country.

“I believe we should go ahead to do our legislation.

“If anyone outside feels that the legislation is wrong, that person can go to the court so that the legislation is nullified and that is one thing with the practice of democracy.

“But I believe that Nigerians at the moment need this kind of legislation.”

Continue Reading

Legislature

N7.5B secret withdrawals: Senate Summons Finance Minister, AGF

Published

on

By

Spread the love

N7.5B secret withdrawals: Senate Summons Finance Minister, AGF

Senate Committee on Public Accounts has summoned the Minister of Finance, Ahmed Zainab and Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris over secret withdrawals of N7.5 billion from the 2 percent National Automotive Design and Development Council Levy Account domiciled with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The report indicated that first N3.8 billion was withdrawn in two installments of N2.8 billion in 2005 and N1 billion in 2006.
This was containwd in the report of the Auditor-General of the Federation, which is being considered by the Senate committee, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide.
The second N3.7 billion, the report said, was withdrawn between March – December 2000 in three separate payments of N725 million, N1 billion and N2 billion.
When the Committee asked the Director General of National Automotive Design and Development Council
Jelani Aliyu about the withdrawal, he said the money was withdrawn without the knowledge of the agency.
He said the Agency has been writing to the Accountant General and Ministry of Finance on the need to refund the money but there was no response.
Apparently piqued by the development, Senate Committee on Public Accounts resolved to summon the Minister of Finance and Accountant General of the Federation to give explanation on the fund.
The query reads,”A total sum of N3,836,000,000.00 (Three billion, eight hundred and thirty-six million naira) was irregularly withdrawn from the 2% National Automotive Council Levy Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Abuja in 2 installments of N2,800,000,000 (in 2005) and N1,036,000,000.00 (in 2006) by the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Federal Ministry of Finance as car loan to be granted for the Security Personnel Car Purchase Scheme Loan.
“The transaction was carried out by the Presidency in collaboration with the Bank of Industry, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Accountant-General of the Federation without the involvement of NAC, the account owner.
“However the principal and the accrued interest from the fictitious loan have not been paid back nor are records available on the beneficiaries, agreement documents, moratorium, duration of the loan, the yearly interest rates accruable and how the fund will be paid back by the beneficiary.
“The Director General has been requested to intensify correspondence with the Honourable Minister of Finance, Accountant-General of the Federation and the Presidency to recover the fund (‘loan’).”
On the 3.7 billion, the report said the sum was “irregularly withdrawn from the 2% National Automotive Council Levy Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria between March-December 2000 in 3 separate payments of N725,000,000; N1,000,000,000 and N2,000,000,000 as ‘loan’ to NAFCON vide the Accountant General of the Federation internal memo to the Permanent Secretary, Budget Office of the Federation Ref No: DD/(R&F)22.Vol. 1158 of 27/5/2003.
“The ‘Loan’ Principal and the accumulated interest are yet to be paid since the year 2000.”

Continue Reading

Legislature

Senate Urges NEMA to Provide Relief Materials to Benue Windstorm Victims

Published

on

By

Spread the love

Senate Urges NEMA to Provide Relief Materials to Benue Windstorm Victims

The Senate on Wednesday urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to as a matter of urgency mobilize resources and rehabilitation materials for various communities in Benue state recently affected by a devastating windstorm.

The disaster had destroyed hundreds of buildings, leaving many residents injured and homeless.

The upper legislative chamber also urged relevant government agencies to support the rebuilding of all the affected public buildings.

It further urged relevant government agencies to go to Benue south senatorial district to sensitize the people on measures to protect themselves and their properties.

The resolutions were sequel to the adoption of motion, sponsored by Senator Abba Moro (Benue South).

Moving the motion, Moro expressed sadness at the extent of destruction inflicted on lives, public and private properties by a windstorm which swept through Ogbadibo and Okpokwu communities in Benue.

He lamented that the windstorm brought down blocks of classrooms in some schools, churches, police station and many other buildings were affected.

Moro said, ”On April 8 2021 about ten communities in Benue state were badly hit by natural disaster. A devastating windstorm which left scores of people injured, hundreds of them homeless and wanton destruction of properties, valuables and several means of livelihood worth millions of Naira.

”Recall that on May 12, 2020 I drew the attention of the Senate in a motion over a devastating rain, windstorm disaster that swept through Ai-Famu, a community in Owukpa, Ogbadibo LGA of Benue State, wherein over 150 buildings including St. Michael The Archangel Catholic Church’s building were blown up by the storm. Worried that almost one year after the disaster, the ordeal has repeated itself in a worse and more devastating manner.”

He added that the situation needs to be addressed to provide succor to the affected communities and persons.

In his contribution, Senator Micheal Nnachi called for urgent action to safeguard the lives and properties of citizens.

He said, ”Climate change is a serious issue in every country in the world, this motion has caused a lot of havoc in his senatorial district. Today people are under the sun, under the next rain which we may not predict. Something urgent should be done to protect the lives of these people.”

Continue Reading

Trending