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Group Lavish Praises On FIRS Over Reforms, Transparency, Defends Agency On Proposed 2022 Expenditure

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The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has described reports criticising the proposed 2022 expenditure of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, as spurious and mischievous.

This was disclosed by the National President of the NYCN, Solomon Adodo, who stated this in Abuja, expressing worry over the publication and the alleged “sinister intentions behind it.”

Adodo noted that NYCN will not fold its hands to watch individuals or corporate organisations drag the FIRS and its well-intended programmes, aimed at salvaging the country’s economy, to the mud.

He said, “NYCN can not sit back and watch the national tax administration and the well-intentioned programmes of the FIRS be dragged into the mud, especially if viewed against the backdrop of the fact that the agency mobilises revenue for our Commonwealth, thereby contributing to our national economic development as well as the well-being of ordinary Nigerians generally.”

The group argued, “any discerning mind would see that the said budget estimate is a proposed expenditure that would eventually pass through the eagle eyes of the National Assembly for rigorous scrutiny.

“Even though the official response of the FIRS to that publication has put to rest all misconceptions, and addressed the obvious political mischief intended by the vexatious publication, we feel inclined to add our voices to the issue if only to finally nail the coffin.

“The public may wonder along with the media on why the NYCN bothers itself with what is generally believed to be the spurious, concocted and mischievously slanted story about the FIRS’s proposed expenditure as published by the Punch Newspapers and circulated on some social media platforms.”

NYCN further expressed worry that an attempt was made by a publication to seek an explanation or clarification from FIRS on the various expenditure sub-headings contained in the document.

“We must not forget in a hurry that recently FIRS came down heavily on some notable big tax offenders, and made them pay their outstanding tax liabilities.

“And so, every attempt made by such tax defaulters to intimidate FIRS to make it shirk its patriotic duty was firmly and roundly rebuffed. We know that some people somewhere would wish to continue with their tax crimes. But we say a big NO to that. It is about time that, as Nigerians, we focused on development instead of petty politics.

“The determination of the Nami-led FIRS to go after some big and hitherto untouchable tax offenders has continued to gain traction. For example, many businesses that either did not pay taxes or did not pay the correct amount have been made to pay under the very deliberate programme of the Management,” the council added.

Recall that a national daily had reported on October 17, 2021, that FIRS is to spend N2.8 billion on uniforms, N550 million on meals, Board members to earn N370 million sitting allowance.

It also claimed that the FIRS, which is one of the highest revenue-generating government bodies, set aside N262.5 million for security votes while N17.8 billion would be spent on “miscellaneous expenses”.

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