- Babtunde Fowler
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it did not make N90 billion available to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo for election campaign.
Timi Frank, a former deputy spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had alleged that Osinbajo started having issues when the presidency discovered that he mismanaged N90 billion allegedly made available by the FIRS for 2019 election campaign purposes.
In a statement released on Monday, Wahab Gbadamosi, FIRS’ director of information, dismissed the claim, saying the service’s annual allocation is not even up to the said amount.
“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,” the statement read.
“In the last four years since Mr 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.
“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.”
FIRS said it is a public trust which operates on behalf of Nigerians.
Taxpayers money including its operational funds, the FIRS said, are sacred and they exercise 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, OAGF,” the statement further read.
FIRS accused Frank as 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.
In August, Abba Kyari, chief of staff to the president, had queried Fowler about variances in tax revenue. .