A group Citizens Awareness Against Corruption and Social Vices Initiative (CAACASVI) has called for the removal of Mr Mohammed Nami as head of the Federal Inland Revenue Service over alleged corruption and gross mismanagement in the agency.
CAACASVI said Nami lacks the integrity and competence to head such an important and sensitive agency.
Speaking to journalists in a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, its Executive Director, Comrade Olumuyiwa Onlede disclosed that that the call became imperative given the economic challenges of the moment.
According to Onlede, Nami’s stint at the helm of affairs at FIRS is characterised by contract racketeering and contract price inflation.
”There is glaring proof that the Executive Chairman of FIRS lacks the competence and integrity to move the agency forward.
“We are calling on the anti graft agencies, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Code of Conduct Bureau to expedite action on our petition in order to bring the FIRS boss and his collaborators to book.
”Award of contract for the production of souvenir for sensitisation and awareness for the sum of N1.7 billion, contrary to the extant Federal Government circular to that effect.
”Meanwhile there was no sensitisation, awareness or engagement with taxpayers as claimed by FIRS management,”
” He awarded contract for the purchase of Zinox Laptops at the exorbitant rate of N900,000 per unit.
”Award of contract for the purchase of Toyota Hiace Buses at the rate of N14 million per unit, meanwhile old vehicles were purchased and refurbished.
”Award of contract for document printing for the sum of N3billion within the period the management claimed to be transiting to office document automation, and also the award of contract for the purchase of Toyota Prado Jeep for the sum of N52million,”
“Award of contract for the purchase of office pen at #1,900 and #2,500 per unit within the same period for the same kind of pen.
“Flying chartered plane to countries like UAE and Rwanda contrary to the provision of human resources policy and process of the service (HRPP) that stipulate that the chairman shall travel on Business class.
“Award of contract for office furniture which are not supplied and also the award of contract for the purchase of Black and white printer for the sum of #140,000 per unit.
“Illegal recruitment of over 2000 staff without recourse to federal character principles, all these and many more are the atrocities going on in FIRS.
Onlede further stated that the mismanagement and corruption in FIRS has brought about industrial disharmony between the management and members of staff, resulting in low productivity, adding that because Mr Nami has never worked in any government formation, he is finding it very difficult to manage the huge human resources in the agency.
”A typical developing economy collects just 15 per cent of GDP in taxes, compared with the 40 per cent collected by a typical advanced economy.
”The ability to collect taxes is central to a country’s capacity to finance social services such as health and education, critical infrastructure, such as electricity, roads and other public amenities.
“”Considering the vast needs of populous and developing countries like Nigeria, this low level of tax collection is putting economic development at risk,”
“Our position is not in any way different from President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement during budget presentation that the problem with Nigeria’s economy is not because of the country’ debt profile, but it is due to low revenue generation.
”This was also corroborated by the Minister of Finance during her press briefing on the 2022 budget.
”If the President and the Minister has confirmed that the country has problem with revenue generation, then it is pertinent to beam the searchlight on activities of our revenue generating agencies, Onlede stated.
Onlede said, if the President must achieve his aim of leaving a legacy in the area of infrastructure development, then he must prioritise tax as a major source of economic drive.
”That can only be achieved if the nations revenue generating agencies key into the Presidents’ plan and policies.
”Having the likes of Mr Mohammed Nami at the helm of affairs of FIRS will leave the administration with the same revenue burden.
”On this basis, we are calling on President Buhari to wield the big stick by removing Nami as the chairman of FIRS for a competent hand to come in and clear the mess already created in the agency.