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Subsidy Investigations: FIRS Tells Reps Her Role

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has said its role is purely the collection of revenue for the government and not keeping records of how the monies are expended.

This explanation is in response to queries by the Special Adhoc Committee on Petroleum Subsidy Regime tasked to investigate petroleum products subsidy in Nigeria.

At the committee sitting, the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Muhammad Nami, who was represented by the FIRS Coordinating Director, Compliance Support Group, Dr. Dick Irri, explained that the role of the Service as provided by its Establishing Act was confined to the assessment of taxpayers, collection of taxes, accounting for and enforcement of taxes that were due to the government of the Federation.

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The Service’s statutory functions remains 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;” he explained, “taxes collected by the FIRS are usually shared amongst the three tiers of the government in line with the constitution of the country and 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.”

Earlier, Nami had stated the request by the Committee for information on Subsidy payments and releases were not tax-related and thus were not within the statutory powers of the Service to respond to.

READ ALSO: Fuel Subsidy Hits N1.593tn, Refinery Rehabilitation Gulps N54.66bn

The Special Adhoc Committee had written to the FIRS requesting information on Subsidy Payment releases from the Consolidated Revenue Account, Subsidy claims, and lodgment of FOREX into the Consolidated Revenue Account by the NNPC, among others.

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The Service holds the Adhoc 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 on 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,” the FIRS Executive Chairman explained.

Apologising for his inability to appear in person, the Executive Chairman stated that his absence was due to other official national engagements outside the Federal Capital Territory.

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The Special Ad-Hoc Committee on Petroleum Products Subsidy Regime, chaired by Hon. (Arc) Ibrahim Al-Mustapha Aliyu was constituted in June 2022 with a mandate to investigate the Petroleum Products Subsidy Regime covering the periods from 2013-2021.

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PAP: Again, Otuaro Meets Stakeholders, Re-emphasises Importance Of Collaboration

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The administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, Dr. Dennis Otuaro, has re-emphasized the need for a collaborative approach in maintaining peace in the Niger Delta, even as he met with various stakeholders in the region.

Otuaro, who spoke when he met with various stakeholders, in Warri, Delta State, including ex-agitators, community leaders, and youth groups, emphasised the importance of involving more stakeholders from impacted communities in the PAP in order to achieve sustainable peace in Niger Delta.

The meetings, held in different locations on July 23rd, 2023, aimed to strengthen peace in the Niger Delta region.

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READ ALSO: Otuaro Visits Edo/Delta Liaison Office, Declares PAP Apolitical

He stressed the need in engaging more women, and providing refresher training to previously trained beneficiaries to qualify them into the labour market.

He urged stakeholders to take advantage of the PAP’s ongoing scholarship opportunities and register online accordingly.

Otuaro reiterated President Tinubu’s commitment to sustainable peace and rapid development in the Niger Delta, encouraging stakeholders to work together to achieve this goal.

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READ ALSO: PAP: IPDI Tackles Group Over Attack On Otuaro

A vote of confidence was passed on the PAP boss for his transformational leadership and revolutionary reforms, urging President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to disregard opposition.

He concluded by thanking PAP beneficiaries and stakeholders for maintaining the existing peace in the Niger Delta, and commended them for their continued cooperation and support for president Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.

The stakeholders, including HRH Godday Smith, the king of the forest, the Meinbotus communities and the Ijaw Youth Council, Western zone, commended Otuaro’s charismatic leadership and pledged their support.

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READ ALSO: PAP: IPDI Tackles Group Over Attack On Otuaro

In response, the stakeholders pointed out that Otuaro is the right man for the PAP job, admonishing the president Bola Ahmed Tinubu to disregard the antics of the enemies.

They assured him of total support and good working relationship throughout his reign as administrator of PAP.

The stakeholders thanked Otuaro for coming down to hold further meetings with stakeholders after undergoing rigorous meetings with the stakeholders in the Niger Delta region in the penultimate months in Warri, Delta State.

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They expressed enthusiasm over his powerful reforms and good initiatives. They prayed for him for more opportunities, good health and more God’s direction.

 

 

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Four Suspected Cultists Arrested With Arms In Edo

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The Edo State Police Command says it has arrested four suspected cultists.

The suspects arrested were Isioma Unwogo, 21, Godstime Imareigbe, 32, Apeleokha Raymond, 28, and Mutar Igie, 30.

Police Public Relations Officer in Edo, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, who disclosed this to journalists in Benin City, said the suspects were arrested during a stop-and-search operation.

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He said the suspects were arrested in Ahor, a community along the Benin-Lagos bypass and on the Benin-Auchi Road, respectively.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Lagos Police Receive Test Results Of Teenager Allegedly Raped By Officer

The command’s spokesperson said Isioma was arrested with one cut-to-size gun and a live cartridge by operatives of the Ahor Police Station Division on patrol.

The other three suspects were arrested when police operatives intercepted a Toyota Camry with registration number ABC 265 RA, and upon a search, they recovered a pistol concealed inside the vehicle’s bonnet.

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SP Nwabuzor alleged that the suspects confessed to being members of a secret cult group in the state.

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Reps Ask NERC, DISCOs To Reverse Band A Tariff Hike

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The House of Representatives on Tuesday asked the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the distribution companies, DISCOs, to reverse the tariff hike for Band A customers immediately.

This resolution was reached after the adoption of a report presented by the House Committee on Power.

Chairman of the Committee Victor Nwokolo who presented the report, stated that Nigerians cannot afford the new tariff.

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The Committee recommended a return to the status quo.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Shelve Planned Hardship Protest, Tinubu Appeals To Nigerians

The recommendations were adopted by the Committee of the Whole, after which it was passed.

Further investigation into the tariff hike is to be conducted by the House.

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The NERC in April announced a hike affecting Band A customers, who are to pay N225 per kilowatt.

According to the regulatory commission Band A subscribers would have at least 20 hours of power supply per day

It also explained that only electricity customers in Band A would be affected by the increase.

READ ASLO: JUST IN: Reps Increase 2024 Budget To N35.055 Trillion, Amend Finance Bill

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At the time, it said only 15 per cent of the electricity consumers were affected by the hike, however, the decision generated negative reactions since its announcement.

“We currently have 800 feeders that are categorised as Band A, but it will now be reduced to under 500. This means that 17 per cent now qualify as Band-A feeders. These feeders only service 15 per cent of total electricity customers connected to the feeders,” NERC Vice Chairman, Musliu Oseni said on April 3.

“The commission has issued an order which is titled April supplementary order and the commission allows a 235 kilowatt per hour.”

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