Senate rejects own Committee’s report on FIRS 2016 Budget

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According to reports, the Senate on Thursday rejected the report of its Committee on Finance on the 2016 Budget of the Federal Inland Revenue Service over ambiguity.

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The upper chamber dumped the budget proposal after careful consideration of recommendations of its Committee on Finance, headed by Senator John Enoh, representing Cross River Central Senatorial District.

The total budget proposed by the FIRS is N143 billion and the Committee submitted same amount for approval of the Senate.

The 2016 FIRS Budget shows an increase of N25 billion in personnel cost, while the overhead cost also rose by N13 billion from 2015 and 2016.

Observation revealed that‎ the agency earmarked N530 million for computer materials, N960 million for computer equipment and also to ‎spend N586 million on refreshment in the 2016 budget.

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According to the committee report, N700 million was budgeted on vehicles, N750 million on fuel for generators, N200 million on sporting activities, N1.56 billion on purchase of office equipment‎, electricity N500 million and elephone N320 million.

The federal lawmakers during the consideration of the report observed that the Committee agreed 100 per cent with the proposal of the FIRS in the budget. ‎

When the Senate discovered obvious ambiguity in the report, it ordered its committee to withdraw the document, giving it one week to properly tidy up a number of issues raised concerning it.

In his contribution, Senator Albert Bassey, complained that the budget of the agency was jerked up drastically in a space of one year.

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“I’m concerned about the personnel cost increase by N25 billion, while overhead increased between N12 and N13 billion,” Bassey said.

The committee report also shows a shortfall in FIRS revenue projection for 2015, which became a matter of concern for Senator Barau Jubril from Kano Central Senatorial District, who wanted to know why the apex tax and tevenue collection agency failed to meet with its own target.

The FIRS has a revenue projection of N4.36 trillion for 2015, but was only able to generate N3.7 trillion.

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The Senate ruled that the budget should be withdrawn to allow the committee clean up the document.

In his remarks before ‎ruling on the report, the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, complained that the recommendation of the committee seems to tally perfectly with what was proposed by the agency.

Saraki ‎stressed the need for a thorough job to be done to ascertain the figures for revenue generation as well as capital projects by the committee.

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