Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The House of Representatives Thursday queried the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) over late and non- submission of the audited accounts of the agency to the Accountant General of the Federation (AuGF).
The Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Wole Oke, at the resumed public hearing told the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Alhaji Mohammed Nami, that the action of the revenue agency amounted to a gross misconduct of the highest order.
The committee wondered why such an all-important revenue agency would not have up-to-date audited accounts.
Oke stated: “This is very strange, if the FIRS cannot produce an up-to-date audited accounts of its operations; how does it want the Executive arm of the government to prepare the Medium Time Expenditure Frame Work, to the legislature to determine the annual financial budget?
“Funny enough, the officials of the same agency will be seen moving around to seal off premises of business outfits over non-payment of their taxes. We are aware that the Executive Chairman of the agency assumed office in December last year, but that should not be an excuse for the agency not to have an up to date audited accounts for accountability.”
The committee stressed that the exercise was not aimed at witch-hunting any agency, but to unravel what had happened and correct those identified lapses for Nigeria to forge ahead.
The committee, therefore, placed the agency on a full scale status enquiry to probe its operations to be able make amendments where necessary for greater efficiency.
Earlier, Nami told the committee that he newly assumed office in December last year and pleaded for time to get the outstanding ones ready for rendition.
He pleaded with the committee to overlook the past mistakes and promised that the agency under his watch would make necessarily correction and do the needful instantly.