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FIRS may end 2016 without accessing N143bn budget

Barring any last minute rectification, the N143bn 2016 proposed budget of the Federal Inland Revenue Service may not be accessed.

This is coming on the Thursday’s rejection of the report by the Committee on Finance in which the N143.7bn budget of agency was approved by the Senate.

Trouble caved in while the lawmakers were debating the recommendation of the committee during plenary and majority of the senators criticised the report as lacking details.

Just as some lawmakers who spoke on the report said it was fraught with ambiguities, others cited duplication of projects in the proposed budget.

However, the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who presided over the plenary, asked the Committee to work on the grey areas in its report and re-present it in one week.

The rejected report said, “The Federal Inland Revenue Service projected to collect tax revenues to the tune of N4.082trn in 2016.

“This comprises of N484bn oil and N3.597tn non-oil revenues. The projected four per cent Cost of Collection on non-oil revenue is N143,904,640,000.

“The total projected available fund for the 2016 budget is N146,165,108,293, comprising of four per cent Cost of Collection and N2,260,468,293 or 20 per cent of 2015 operating

surplus.”

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator John Enoh, while presenting the report to the chamber, recalled that the Senate on July 21, 2016, considered the request of President Muhammadu Buhari on the 2016 budget of the FIRS and referred same to the committee for further legislative action.

 “The FIRS is funded by four per cent Cost of Collection of all non-oil and gas taxes collected by the service, which should be appropriated by the National Assembly as stipulated in Section 15 (a) of the FIRS Act 2007.

“In compliance with the FIRS Act, the service forwarded its proposed budget to the Senate’s and the House of Representatives’ Committees on Finance for consideration and approval.”

On the performance of the 2015 budget of the FIRS, the report said National Assembly’s joint Committees on Finance approved a revenue projection of N436tn, comprising of N1.74tn oil revenue and N262tn non-oil revenue.