Why FG is planning to audit Customs', FIRS' revenues

The Federal Government (FG) is planning to commence an auditing revenue assurance and Information Technology audit on the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).

In a statement disclosing this development, the Auditor-General of the Federation, Anthony Ayine said he had met the management of the FIRS and NCS over the commitment to audit their revenues.

Ayine made known that the audit was aimed at improving the revenue of government so as to reduce the heavy burden of borrowing on the country.

“Our engagement is essential to ensure that the collection of revenue is lawfully made. We will also verify that procedures and checks are in place and properly applied.”

[READ MORE: Here’s why FIRS paid back more than ₦1bn to some insurance companies]

What you should know: According to the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, the audit is part of the Fiscal Governance and Institutions Project, a collaborative programme of the Federal Government and the World Bank.

The project is aimed at strengthening revenue collection management and accounting processes, as well as transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.

In a bid to advance the Federal Government’s course for transparency, Ayine in separate meetings asked the FIRS and NCS to grant his office free access to personnel, documents, databases and IT applications for the purpose of the assignment.

The statement said the AuGF visited the Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Babatunde Fowler, and the Comptroller General of the NCS, Hameed Ali, on Thursday, August 15, 2019.

Why this matters: Before now, there were cases of corruption in government revenue agencies. Although no country is immune to corruption, it is of common knowledge that the abuse of public office for private gain erodes people’s trust in government and institutions, makes public policies less effective and fair, and siphons taxpayers’ money away from schools, roads, and hospitals.

[READ ALSO: Why Federal Government disengaged 2,525 N-Power beneficiaries]

Corruption corrodes the government’s ability to help grow the economy in a way that benefits all citizens.

Just recently, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) resumed investigations on the members of staff of the FIRS over N1.2 billion Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) fraud.

The anti-graft agency commenced a forensic analysis of the bank accounts of the FIRS’ staff, obtaining details of their financial statements in various commercial banks with the aim of discovering the perpetrators of the fraud.

Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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