Fowler: EFCC probing FIRS staff over ‘fraudulent payments’

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched a probe into the activities of some staff of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). Babatunde Fowler, FIRS chairman, confirmed the development to TheCable on Wednesday saying the probe borders on alleged cases of irregularities concerning duty tour allowance (DTA).

“On the DTA (Duty Tour Allowance), it was claimed that some staff applied for and were granted, allowances to travel for official trips. Some are alleged not to have travelled for the number of days, for which they were slated. The EFCC is looking into that,” he said. “Sometimes, it is good to have a third party investigate matters like this instead of having a staff investigate another staff. An investigation by a third party is more objective. FIRS has since taken steps to remediate this. “The EFCC will soon complete its investigation. Anybody found guilty will be dealt with through our administrative process.” Fowler also dismissed claims that taxpayers’ money has gone missing. He explained that all taxes are paid directly into the account of federation account through the Central Bank of Nigeria. “The FIRS does not have access to taxpayers money. Its operations are funded by an appropriation of the national assembly through monthly remittances by the federation accounts allocation committee (FAAC),” he said. Fowler added that FIRS acknowledges the statutory rights and responsibilities of anti-corruption agencies and other government agencies such as the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), State Security Services, SSS to inquire into the operations of the Service. The FIRS chairman promised that FIRS would continue to give access to agencies with statutory rights adding that invitations of officials of the service by EFCC, the Police, SSS and ICPC to shed light financial transactions are not uncommon.


Source: The Cable