The Yoruba Leadership and Peace Initiative (TYLPI) called on the federal government to order a forensic audit of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) operations.
The group said the FIRS 2022 budget proposal suggests “wholesale looting” is underway at the agency.
The punch had reported that the FIRS allocated about 550 million naira for refreshments and 200 million naira for sports activities. He also said the agency had budgeted 262.5 million naira for security votes and 17.8 billion naira for “miscellaneous” expenses.
But the agency only said so affected 11.36 billion naira for administrative expenses – not 17.8 billion naira as indicated.
Speaking on the development in a statement on Sunday, Tunde Ipinmisho, TYLPI’s advertising director, called FIRS ‘2022 budget proposal recently passed to the National Assembly “bogus.”
âFIRS, one of the country’s main revenue collection agencies, had proposed a budget of 228 billion naira for its services in 2022, a figure higher than 134 billion naira of the National Assembly and 120 billion naira. nairas of the judiciary, “the statement read.
âThe figure also exceeds those of each of the 22 states for the 2021 fiscal year.
âHe (TYLPI) therefore urged the federal government, which itself had accumulated monumental debts over the past six years, to institute a forensic audit of FIRS finances. “
The group also said the FIRS budget proposal was an “insult” to Nigerians who “face” poor roads, unstable power supplies, poorly equipped hospitals and dilapidated education infrastructure.
He said that a quick review of the tax administration’s proposal decomposition would lead observers to the inevitable conclusion that the agency had created âbogusâ budget captions to support the âlavish intentâ of its. managers to provide means of looting.
It further described “the allocation of 2.8 billion naira for uniforms, 1.5 billion naira for photocopiers, 1 billion naira for refueling generators, 1.3 billion naira for cleaning and fumigation, 3 billion naira for printing non-security documents and 550 million naira. for meals as the financial equivalent of rape â.
TYLPI said the budget figures proposed by FIRS should send clear signals to the government that those it has charged with the agency do not subscribe to the administration’s anti-corruption policy.
He therefore urged the federal government to follow the precedent it set in the case of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by ordering a comprehensive audit and diagnostic review of the agency.
With its current budget proposal, TYLPI said FIRS officials presented themselves as a “conquering army seeking to appropriate the resources of the conquered territory as further confirmation of its conquest.”
He added that the proposal had further strengthened the case for restructuring the country to make more funds available to states, rather than having an “overburdened center inundated with money that it distributes to begging federative units. at will”. .
The group also said that while critical sectors were underfunded, a single government agency could seek more credit than two branches of government and the budgets of each of the 22 states.
TYLPI advised the National Assembly not to approve the âfalse budget figures from FIRSâ.
He also said lawmakers should critically review the budgets of all government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).