I Met N1.4bn in FIRS Purse, Left Behind N129bn — Ex-FIRS Boss, Nami
The former Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Executive Chairman, Mr. Muhammad Nami said he met only N1.4 billion in the purse of the FIRS when he assumed office and left behind the sum of N129 billion at the time of his exit.
He refuted a story making the rounds in some online media that he approved N11 billion suspicious payments after his exit, stressing that no payment was made by the service after the announcement of his pre-retirement leave as claimed by the report.
Mr Nami pointed out that the N5 billion paid to the Joint Tax Board was paid to fund the activities of the Presidential Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy Reforms two months before he left office and was paid after he received a letter to that effect from the office of Mr President signed by Zacch Adedeji himself.
He noted that the attempt by the report to paint a picture that he hurriedly left the country on September 16 after the so-called “suspicious approvals” were made was untrue, explaining that if he had travelled out of the country on 16th September, how then did he attend the handover ceremony with Mr. Adedeji on the afternoon of Monday 18th September 2023 in the full glare of the media.
The Ex-FIRS Boss said: “I inherited only N1.4 billion in the purse of the FIRS when I assumed office. I left N129 billion in the purse of the Service when I left.
“The N5 billion paid to Joint Tax Board was spent to fund the activities of the Presidential Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy Reforms two months before I left office. It was paid after we received a letter to that effect from the office of Mr. President signed by Zacch Adedeji himself.
“The report maliciously attempts to portray a picture that I hurriedly left the country on September 16th after these so-called “suspicious approvals” were made.
“Again, nothing can be further from the truth. If I travelled out of the country on the 16th of September, how then did I attend the handover ceremony with Mr Zacch on the afternoon of Monday 18th September 2023? That handover ceremony was covered by the media, and can be cross-checked”.
Mr Nami in a rebuttal he personally signed and made available to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja was titled: ‘My rejoinder to the Cable Story: “Ex-FIRS Boss Nami Approved N11bn ‘Suspicious’ Payments After His Exit’.
He stated in part: “My attention has been drawn to a mischievous story by the Cable Newspaper claiming that I made approvals of over N11 billion after taking my pre-retirement leave.
“Nothing can be further from the truth. The entire story was sensationally written with mischief that took the ordinary events of my work out of context with the intent to tarnish my image.
“First and foremost, I want to categorically state that after my exit as FIRS Executive Chairman, I made no such approvals as claimed in the report.
“Fundamentally: It is important to note that no payment was made by the Service after the announcement of my pre-retirement leave as claimed by this story.
“An approval for payment in the Service is one step of a journey to payment. It is the custom that when a new Executive Chairman resumes office, he would review, validate and make final authorisation before any payments can be made.
“It is important to note for the record that all decisions reached and extant liabilities/ commitments of the Service during my stay in office are contained in the handover notes I made available to my successor, Mr Zacch Adedeji. He is fully briefed on everything.
“For clarity, the items listed in the Cable Newspaper Report were part of the N16 billion outstanding commitments contained in our handover note.
“It is disappointing to see the Cable, a revered online newspaper attempt to sensationalise events that took place in the ordinary course of work in office, making them seem as if they were done in bad faith.
“I want to categorically state that every decision I made within the time of my stay in office was within the ambit of the law and within the lawful powers I exercised then as Executive Chairman”.