The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS has made clarifications on the controversial N90 billion it was alleged to have given to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo before the 2019 general elections.
TheCable reports that the federal government tax agency said it did not make any N90 billion available to Osinbajo for election campaigns.
According to the online medium, a statement issued on Monday, September 23, by the FIRS’ director of information, Wahab Gbadamosi, dismissed the claim, saying the service’s annual allocation is not even up to the said amount.
The statement read:“The entire allegation being spread by one Frank Timi that the Federal lnland Revenue Service spent N90 billion to fund the last election is mendacious, wicked, malicious and a calculated attempt to smear the image of the service and that of His Excellency, the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
“In the last four years since Tunde Fowler has supervised operations at the FIRS, the agency had not received up to N90 billion per annum, as cost of collection from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC). Mr. Frank and his band of liars might wish to cross-check this from FAAC, a public institution, whose records are open to the public.”
Gbadamosi further stated that the service pays the salary and emoluments and trains its over 8,000 staff, runs over 150 offices through the remittances from FAAC, which according to him, had never grossed up to N100 billion
“It is from the remittances from FAAC—which had never grossed up to N100 billion, per annum, that FIRS pays the salary and emoluments and trains it’s over 8,000 staff, runs over 150 offices and provides for other needs of the service.
“Given the above, it is not plausible nor does it make any sense that FIRS will commit its resources to a phantom campaign of N90 billion as suggested by Mr Timi Frank and FIRS does not fund political associations,”the statement added.
FIRS said it is a public trust which it operates on behalf of Nigerians.
The service also noted that taxpayers money including its operational funds are sacred, adding that it exercises extra care and diligence in expenditures, even after such funds must have been appropriated by the National Assembly.
“The agency is subject to the eagle eye scrutiny, supervision and close monitoring by the National Assembly, the federation account allocation Committee and the ministry of finance through the office of the accountant general of the federation,”the statement further read.
FIRS accused Frank of seeking cheap popularity, adding that it would file a libel suit if Frank refuses to tender an apology in three major newspapers within the next 24 hours.
It was reported that the cleric who urged Nigerians to pray for Osinbajo, noted that the plans to bring the vice president down would fail.