The Nigerian National Youth Council (NYCN) has called reports criticizing the Federal Inland Revenue Service’s (FIRS) proposed spending for 2022 as bogus and malicious.
NYCN National President Comrade Solomon Adodo, who said this at a press conference Monday in Abuja, expressed concern over the publication and the alleged “sinister intentions behind it.”
Adodo noted that NYCN would not fold its hands to watch individuals or companies drag FIRS and its well-meaning programs, aimed at saving the country’s economy, through the mud.
“NYCN cannot stand idly by and watch the national tax administration and the well-meaning FIRS programs dragged through the mud, especially when viewed in the context of the agency raising revenue for our Commonwealth. , thus contributing to our economic development as well as the well-being of ordinary Nigerians in general, âhe said.
A national newspaper, not Blueprint, October 17, 2021, in a banner headline dubbed “FIRS to spend N2.8bn on uniforms, N550m on meals, board members to earn N370m in sitting allowance” , provided a detailed analysis of the agency’s proposed spending.
The report, which was not well received by FIRS given that it was only a budget proposal, noted that the tax administration had budgeted around N 550 million for refreshments. and 200 million naira for sports activities.
âFIRS, which is one of the highest revenue generating government agencies, has set aside N262.5 million for security votes while N17.8 billion is said to be spent on ‘miscellaneous’ expenses. “, did he declare.
According to the youth council, “any discerning mind would see that said budget estimate is a spending proposal that would eventually go through the eagle eyes of the National Assembly for careful consideration.”
The council wondered why such a document would suddenly become a public controversy as the report shows.
âEven though the official FIRS response to this post dispelled all misconceptions and addressed the obvious political mischief targeted by the vexatious post, we feel inclined to add our voices to the issue if only to ultimately nail it down. the coffin.
“The public may wonder with the media why the NYCN is embarrassed by what is commonly thought to be the false, concocted and mischievously slanted story about FIRS proposed spending as published by Punch newspapers and broadcast on some social media platforms, âhe added. It said.
The youth noted that “It would be a national disservice for a serious and reputable organization like the NYCN to ignore such a relevant national issue.”
NYCN further expressed concern that an attempt was made by the publication to seek an explanation or clarification from FIRS on the various expense subheadings contained in the document.
âAnother area of ââconcern is the question: Why is anyone or a group of people particularly interested in the FIRS spending proposal? Your guess can be as good as ours. For us, everything is political.
âIt is understandable that it is normal that some people do not appreciate the progress made by the leadership of the FIRS. However, our concern and worry is that all this political racket will jeopardize revenue generation, fundraising, and tax administration that are relevant to national development.
âWithout denying the fact, the activity of generating income is too serious an economic activity not to be subjected to the kind of infantile politics covered by this publication. FIRS is a proactive revenue-generating agency that takes its mandate very seriously.
âWe must not hastily forget that the FIRS recently weighed heavily on some notable large tax offenders and made them pay their unpaid tax debts.
âAnd so, every attempt made by these tax offenders to intimidate the FIRS into shirking their patriotic duty has been firmly and categorically rejected. We know that there are people out there who would like to prosecute their tax crimes. But we are saying a big NO to that. It is high time that we as Nigerians focused on development rather than petty politics, âthe young people said.