Looting of N5 billion at KWIRS: The Facts and the Lies – Abdullahi Adebayo

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Kwara State Internal Revenue Service HQ

It is indeed sad to read the many lies this administration is putting out there as truth without thinking of the larger consequences of such public lies and the collateral damages of such to the institution in question, in particular, and the state, in general.

When the news broke out that the past administration of the revenue service shared and looted about N5 billion, one expects that any serious government will sieve through the information and guide appropriately the integrity and sanctity of the government before throwing such into the public domain. But because they are quick and eager to rubbish the previous administration, anything damaging, whether true or not is jumped at by the government.

They did not just stop at championing these lies but also sponsored the spreading of these lies as much as possible through their campaign media that has been idle for a while. Knowing fully well that the entire populace of Kwarans cannot be dumb and unreasonable, certain reasonable questions are being asked by reasonable Kwarans who have followed all the trantas, and responses to such have been making a ridicule of the claims of the state government.

Some of such questions are:

1. Who and who looted these N5b and how was the act perfected?

2. Between when and when did the looting take place?

3. When was the looting discovered and what has the government done in the process?

4. What plan has the government to safeguard such from repeating itself if the allegations are true?

In response to question 1 we gathered from the news flying around and sponsored by government that the erstwhile chairman of the revenue service is at the centre of the sharing/Looting of the said sum. Facts emerging from sources within the revenue service have revealed however that the consultants engaged by the service in its four years of existence were properly engaged in accordance with the laws establishing the service and the payments in question were commissions due to and paid to those consultants. It was also confirmed that the service is even indebted to some of these consultants who are being owed for services rendered. So, if these consultants were engaged and paid for services rendered according to their terms of engagement resulting in the indisputable successful performance of the service, how can such payments become looted funds as being claimed by government?

Concerning the period under question, the State Government’s claim that during the 4 years of the past administration the said sum of N5 billion was looted. If the service was able to raise about N85 billion in 4 years an equivalent of what the state ever generated in previous 16 years, it is obvious that such accomplishment could only have been possible with concerted efforts and sacrifices and those efforts would not have been that of the members of the revenue service alone particularly with the level of hostilities of our society. Making a remarkable change like that must surely have come at a cost and this administration will only be undoing itself by the approach of castigating those who made the contributions that led to the enviable results possible. If the government is not careful the distraction of what they have decided to do will make them loose focus and end up achieving nothing, our source added.

Looking at when the supposed looting was discovered which shows that the new chairman of the service is sending a wrong signal to the staff of the service and the taxpayers thereby making her job more difficult going forward. It cannot be taken away that the erstwhile chairman had established an agency that has become the envy of others both within and outside the state. “For somebody to come and inherit such a well established agency that is internationally certified and begin to smear the image of such an organisation rightly or wrongly speaks a lot about the leadership and management capacities of such a leader, and in this our society it is just a matter of time that the system will teach such leadership a bitter lesson. The man you think you are trying to destroy has served and moved on handing over to you to show what you can do so why inflicting pain and agony on yourself and the system instead of facing the challenges of generating revenue for the development of the state,” our source added. It is obvious that nobody will measure your performance with what the previous administration did or did not do, rather your performance will be measured by what you are able to generate for the state to use for its developmental agenda and for this to happen you need the institution bequeathed to you and the trust of the residents of Kwara particularly when you are also coming with a baggage of EFCC cases on your neck to KWIRS the top management staff said.

Our investigation reveals that the present administration that is accusing the past administration of looting through the consultants engaged for services to the revenue service is already considering and presurising the revenue service for the engagement of their own cronies as consultants to replace the terminated consultant while those not terminated are still rendering service to KWIRS, the source added.

In conclusion, it is obvious that the whole of these are political and the danger is that the revenue agency should not be made the basis of scoring political points because of the significance of the agency in the future of the state.

Abdullahi Adebayo, Renowned Tax Consultant from Ilorin

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