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Thursday, 10 November 2016

Senate Rejects FIRS 2016 Budget

The Senate on Wednesday rejected report on the 2016 budget of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

This followed deliberations on the report presented by Senator John Enoh-led Senate Committee on Finance.

Many Senators including Mohammed Hassan, Jibrin Barau, Albert Akpan, Phillip Aduda and Ibn Na’Allah who spoke raised concern on the Committee report.

Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki puts the question to the senators and it was agreed that  the Committee on Finance should go back and tidy up its report properly.

Saraki observed that “Capital projects that are ambiguous keep reoccurring in the Budget, we must ensure these projects are carefully examined.”

He added that “As part from our oversight function, we must check correctness of figures and ensure thorough investigation at all times.”

In April, TheBrief recalls that the Senate Committee on Finance had  asked the FIRS to explain the rationale behind its decision to appropriate N16bn in its 2016 budget for the 1, 250 staff it planned to recruit this year.

It also asked the agency to produce details of the N1.6bn appropriated in its budget for its retired staff.

The committee also expressed concern over the agencies’ N700m budget for medical bills of staff.

The FIRS, had told the panel that the N1.6bn in its fiscal document this year was meant for its staff who retired last year and those due for retirement this year.

Chairman of the committee, John Enoh, told the Chairman of the FIRS, Mr. Babatunde Fowler and top staff of his agency during a budget defence session that the welfare package was quite outrageous because it did not spent up to that in previous years.

Enoh therefore asked the FIRS to present total breakdown of the proposed expenditure and also submit details of what it spent last on its retired staff.

He said, “We will need a presentation that tries to explain some particular cases of variation”

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