The Public Accounts Committee, PAC, of the House of Representatives on Thursday grilled the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Commission, FIRS, Alhaji Mohammed Nami over late and non submission of the audited accounts of the Agency to the Accountant General of the Federation, describing the action as a gross misconduct of the highest order.
Nami who appeared before the Committee Chaired by Rep. Oluwole Oke in Abuja at the resumed Public hearing on refusal of Non-Treasury Funded and Partially Funded Agencies to render their Audited Accounts covering the period 2014 till date to the Auditor-General of the Federation said that he newly assumed office in December last and pleaded for time to get the outstanding ones ready for rendition.
The Committee which frowned at the submission of the FIRS boss being the Nation’s official revenue collector wondered why such an all important Revenue Agency would not have an up to date audited accounts.
According to the Chairman of the Committee, ” this is very strange, if the FIRS can not produce an up to date audited accounts of its operations, how does it wants the Executive arm of the government to prepare the Medium Time Expenditure Frame Work, to the legislature to determine the annual financial budget?
” Funny enough, the officials of the same Agency will be seen moving around to seal off premises of business outfits over non payment of their taxes
“We are aware that the Executive Chairman of the Agency assumed office in December last year but that should not an excuse for the Agency to have an up to date audited accounts for accountability
consequently, the Committee resolved to place the Agency on a full scale status enquiry to probe into its operations to be able make amendments where necessary for greater efficiency.
Rep. Oke who said that the exercise was not for witch hunting disclosed that this became necessary to unravel what had happened and correct those identified lapses
for the Nation to forge ahead
He stated that the Agency was also being placed on status enquiry because of the attitudes of some of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, being investigated which had been giving all sort of excuses for not having up to date audited accounts as required by law of the land.
However, the FIRS boss who pleaded to the Committee to overlook the mistakes promised that the Agency under his watch would make necessarily correction and do the needful instantly.
This came just as the Managing Director of the Ogun Osun River Basin Development Authority, ORBDA, Mr Olufemi Odumosu who the Committee issue arrest warrant against on Wednesday over his previous absence before the Parliament suddenly appeared on Thursday in person, apologizing profusely for his action.
Odumosu stated that he actually prepared to appear before the Committee on Wednesday but was held up on his way to Lagos to catch his flight to Abuja due to bad bad road but which he eventually missed.
The Committee however placed the Agency on full Status enquiry following infractions discovered in the presentation of the MD and his inability to provide any proof of rendition of the accounts of the Agency to the Auditor General of the Federation as claimed
In a related development, the Committee gave the Management of the Standard Organization of Nigeria, SON, a last chance to appear before it or be arrested and face criminal charges.
The Representatives of the Auditor General of the Federation said that the MDAs attitudes towards rendition of audited accounts were gross misconduct and total breach of the law of the land which attracted severe sanctions including jail terms.