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FAAC to probe FIRS over alleged under remittance

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FIRS targets LGs to curb multiple taxation

The Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) said it would soon begin to probe alleged shortfall in revenue remittance by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The commission said it would focus on FIRS after tackling the under remittances issue with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Chairman, Forum of Finance Commissioners, Mahmood Yunusa, made this disclosure at the weekend.
Yunusa alleged that the payment into the Federation Account in May by the FIRS showed a drop of about N90 billion.

He added that the committee would engage the service to investigate the reasons for the underpayment.
“If you look at the FAAC report, there was a sharp drop in FIRS’ May and June collections but there was no opportunity for us to actually engage the FIRS for them to explain to us why there was a sharp drop.

“I can’t remember vividly but the drop was about N90 billion. So FIRS also needs to tell us why the sharp drop. If they think they are not being sweated too, we will sweat them up because you cannot adopt a kind of armchair work,” the Chairman said.

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It would be recalled that the FIRS at the weekend announced a gross total of N2.53 trillion from various taxes between January and June 2018.

The increase in tax revenue by the agency indicates about 42 percent rise when compared to N1.78 trillion total tax revenue achieved in the corresponding period in 2017.

Speaking on the controversy between FAAC and NNPC, Yunusa said the committee was demanding for an overhaul of the oil revenue collection system, noting that the revenue collection process needs to be strengthened to avoid situations where states are short-changed.

“All royalties should be collected and remitted to the Federation Account by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

“Before DPR collects that royalty, it has to make sure that the actual amount that is supposed to be remitted is remitted. If it is under remitted, the DPR will be responsible for the shortfall and I know DPR would not want to be responsible for a shortage that they are not even aware of,” he explained.

The FAAC meeting for May 2018 is yet to be concluded, even as the meeting had ended in deadlock for three times since its first schedule on June 27, owing to alleged failure of the NNPC to remit accurate revenue to the Federation Account.

The crisis had caused delay in the payment of salaries of workers in the federal and some states civil service for the month of June.

Yunusa, however, expressed optimism that the FAAC may hold this week as all the contending issues with the NNPC will be resolved.

 

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