Subsidy: Our role only on tax enforcement, collection, not funds use – FIRS

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has explained that its statutory role was purely the collection of revenue for government and not keeping records of how the monies were spent.

This was in response to queries by the Special Adhoc Committee of the House of Representatives on Petroleum Subsidy Regime, mandated to investigate petroleum products subsidy in Nigeria from 2013.

Making presentation during the resumed sitting, of the committee on Thursday, Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, who was represented by the Coordinating Director, Compliance Support Group, Dr. Dick Irri, noted that the role of the Service was confined to the assessment of taxpayers, collection of taxes, accounting for and enforcement of taxes that were due to the government of the Federation. 

“The Service’s statutory functions remains that of assessment, collection, accounting, and enforcement of payment of taxes that are due to the Government of the Federation and any of its agencies;” he explained, adding that “taxes collected by the FIRS are usually shared amongst the three tiers of the government in line with the constitution of the country”.

He said, “FIRS does not maintain records of what the funds are used for by the three tiers of government. The Service also does not have the power to ask for such records”.

He therefore submitted that the request by the Committee for information on Subsidy payments and releases were not tax related, and thus were not within the statutory powers of the Service to respond to.

“All the tax related information requested on your letter dated 1st July, 2022 has been duly submitted,” he said.

The Committee chaired by Hon. Almustapha Aliyu, had written to the FIRS requesting information on Subsidy Payment releases from the Consolidated Revenue Account, Subsidy claims, lodgment of FOREX into the Consolidated Revenue Account by the NNPC, among others.

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