The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has proposed to spend a total of N4.131 billion on refreshments and meal subsidies for its staff in the 2021 fiscal year, Daily Independent is reporting
This was even as members of the House Committee on Finance expressed dismay at FIRS for proposing to expend a total of N1, 819,556,000 on contract drivers in 2021.
According to budget documents presented before the James Faleke-led Committee on Finance, and seen by Daily Independent, the service is also proposing the sum of N310 million as security vote for the chairman in its 2021 budget estimates.
The figures which are contained on page 17 under the proposed Recurrent Overhead for the Year 2021 of the agency’s budget documents shows that while the sum of N340 million is proposed for ‘refreshments and meals’, a whopping sum of N3, 791,456,233 was proposed as ‘meal subsidy’.
However, the total spent on refreshments as a line item in 2020, according to the documents, was N337,320,234.
A closer look at the document also shows that the concept of meal subsidy as proposed by the service in 2021 is a new introduction to its budget proposal as there was no such thing in 2020.
The agency is also proposing to spend another N4.2 billion for staff welfare, festivity, and other unspecified items.
This line item could be seen on page 18 under Recurrent Overhead for the year 2021.
The agency, on page 47 of its document, has also proposed to erect solar streetlights at unspecified locations across the country. On page 51, the agency proposed to spend the sum of N150 million for the said project.
Also under a subhead on page 51, captioned, ‘Power Electricity Distribution’, the agency has proposed to spend the sum of N680 million.
Duplication Of Items
Under a subhead of Security/Safety Equipment, the agency, on page 48, proposed the sum of N1.175,200,000.
The same item was cited on page 53 and described as Security/Safety Equipment: CSG, N550 million; SSFM, N843 million, respectively.
A total of this sum under the line item would amount to another N1.393 billion.
Under Acquisition of Land and Building, as seen on page 48, serial number 2200, the agency also proposed to spend the sum of N470 million on FCT Park and Recreation.
Lawmakers had expressed dismay at the proposal submitted by the agency at the review of the 2020 and defence of 2021 budget with the management of FIRS in Abuja.
The lawmakers also expressed concerns at the astronomical increase in various expenditures incurred during the period under review.
The committee, which picked holes in what it described as bogus recurrent expenditure, also frowned at the N369,848,167 proposed to be spent on other contract staff in 2021.
The FIRS also proposed an increase in the personnel cost for 2021, which is predicated on the payment of 13-month salary equivalent to one month salary (estimated at N5,717,228,982), subsistence allowance of 30% of consolidated salary (N20,582,024,334), 50% performance bonus of annual consolidated salary (N34,303,373,889).
According to documents cited, FIRS internally generated revenue stands at N251,189,952 against the sum of N50 million proposed in 2020, while the sum of N50 million was also proposed for 2021.
The lawmakers also queried the projected non-oil cost of collection of 4% worth N137.411 billion which accrued to FIRS in 2020 and the rationale behind the proposed 7% cost of collection worth N298.441 billion for 2021 in breach of extant provisions in the Nigeria Customs Act.