Auditor General queries FIRS over ‘missing N400b’
• Tax Agency raises N25.782 trillion in 6 years
• Non-oil contributes about N10 trillion
• We’re auditing our processes, says Fowler
For failing to account for how it has expended about N400 billion, representing four per cent cost of non- oil tax collection between 2010 and 2015, the nation’s tax agency- the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has earned the ire of the Auditor -General of the Federation (AuGF) Mr. Samuel Ukura.
FIRS is entitled to a four per cent of non oil taxes it generates and the sum is disbursed to it every month at the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee ( FAAC) where federation revenue is collated and distributed amongst the three tiers of government.
The Nigerian Customs Service ( NCS) on the other hand is entitled to seven per cent of its revenue generated from import duties and export fees.
FIRS during the period under review generated nearly N26 trillion out of which the non- oil components was around N10 trillion for which the tax agency was entitled to four per cent translating to about N400 billion.
But the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation has come up to say that it was yet to receive statement of account detailing how FIRS deployed the sum, in spite of repeated reminders.
This information was brought to the fore yesterday during interaction between the new Executive Chairman of the FIRS , Mr. Tunde Fowler and the visiting members of the Senate Public Accounts Committee led by its chairman, Dr.Andy Uba.
According to Uba : “ We are just coming from the Office of the Accountant – General of the Federation (OAGF ) for a similar oversight function and while we were there, there is a question I asked the Accountant General, Alhaji Idris Ahmed about Ministries, Departments and Agencies’ (MDAs) compliance with accounts and he said it is on record that four per cent cost of collection enjoyed by the FIRS had not been included in the financial statement of FIRS since 2010 despite the Auditor General’s persistent queries.”
Reacting, Fowler informed the committee that the FIRS management under his leadership had just commenced a comprehensive audit of the agency as well as other MDAs, including banks with a view to ascertaining if all the taxes due to the government have been duly remitted to Government’s Account.
.” We also wrote them in September that if there are any amounts unapplied because sometimes tax payers pay them and quote the wrong account number and it goes into suspense account and so we have told them to remit any amount unapplied that belongs to the Federal Government directly to our account”, he added
A breakdown of the about N26 trillion tax revenue generated by the agency within the period 2010 to 2015 indicated that that it generated a sum of N2.839 trillion in the year 2010; another sum of N4.61 trillion in 2011 out of which non-oil constituted the sum of N1.40 trillion; in 2012 , the sum of N5.07 trillion was generated, out which the non oil component contributed the sum of N1.792 trillion.
In 2013, a cumulative sum of N4.805 trillion was generated with non- oil contributing N2.096 trillion while the balance was from oil mineral taxes. The following year, total collection was N4.715 trillion, out. of which non oil yielded they sum of N2.096 trillion.
Also in 2015 , taxes fetched the sum of N3.743 trillion out of which the sum of N2.059 trillion was contributed by non -oil taxes.