The Federal Inland Revenue Service has informed the House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee to Investigate the Petroleum Products Subsidy Regime from 2013 to 2022 to excuse it from the ongoing probe into the payments of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) by the Federal Government.
The Executive Chairman, FIRS, Muhammad Nami, told the committee at its continued investigative hearing in Abuja on Thursday that the Service only collects revenue for government and does not keeps records of how the monies are spent.
Nami, who was represented by the Coordinating Director, Compliance Support Group, FIRS, Dr. Dick Irri, stated that the role of the agency, as prescribed by the Act establishing it, is limited to the assessment of taxpayers, collection of taxes, accounting for and enforcement of taxes that were due to the government of the Federation.
He said, “The Service’s statutory functions remain that of assessment, collection, accounting, and enforcement of payment of taxes that are due to the Government of the Federation and any of its agencies.
“Taxes collected by the FIRS are usually shared amongst the three tiers of the government (federal, state and local) in line with the Constitution of the country. FIRS does not maintain records of what the funds are used for by the three tiers of government. The Service also does not have the power to ask for such records.”
The FIRS boss stated that the request by the committee for information on subsidy payments and releases were not tax related, and consequently not within the statutory powers of the Service to respond to.
He noted, “The Service holds the ad hoc committee on petroleum products subsidy regime and other committees of the National Assembly in high esteem and will always give necessary support to ensure the success of their oversight functions.
“All the tax-related information requested in your letter dated 1st July 2022, has been duly submitted.
“All the 16 items listed on your letter dated 5th August 2022, are not tax-related and also are not part of the responsibilities of the Service.”