The House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Accounts has asked the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Services, Muhammad Nami, to immediately tender his resignation if he is not capable of discharging his responsibilities.
The committee, which condemned Nami for failing to answer its invitation to an investigative hearing on Wednesday, summoned the FIRS boss to appear before it unfailingly on Thursday.
The lawmakers are probing ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government over alleged revenue leakages as reported by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation.
The FIRS boss was billed to appear before the committee over non-payment of taxes to the government by three foreign firms, Indorama Petrochemical, Indorama fertilizer and Petrochemical Ltd, and OIS Indorama Port Limited, but he was absent and sent a representation.
Two of the firms are allegedly enjoying duty waivers and capital allowances, while the third was said to be operating at the Export Free Zone in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, thus causing a huge loss of revenues to the nation.
Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Abdullahi Abdulkadir, decried the absence of the FIRS boss at such an important hearing.
Representative of the FIRS boss, Mr Olusegun Olatunji, pleaded with the lawmakers on Nami’s behalf, attributing his absence to the lateness of the letter of invitation from the committee.
The Committee insisted that Nami must appear in person, while the lawmakers unanimously resolved that he appears at 10am on Thursday, failing which he would be sanctioned in line with provisions of the Constitution.
Chairman of the committee, Oluwole Oke, said, “This parliament is the symbol of democracy; we are the representatives of the people. If President Muhammadu Buhari can cause an appearance before the parliament whenever the need be, why not his appointees? Enough is enough! If the FIRS boss cannot perform his constitutional responsibilities again, he should turn in his letter of resignation immediately.
“Is this how he wants to pay back Mr President who gave him the appointment? The nation is losing billions of naira from tax evasion on a daily basis, and the man in charge who is expected to come to the parliament so that a solution can be found on how to stop the ugly development has refused to honour the invitation.
“Based on the seriousness of this, the FIRS boss is to cause a physical appearance before this honourable committee by 10am on Thursday. We are determined to stop this nonsense. The nation is bleeding.”