FCT perm sec, director bicker over revenue collection
Abattle of wits is brewing in the Federal Capital Territory Board of Internal Revenue Service as three major gladiators are battling one another over who controls the resources of the board.
City News learnt that the battle is between the FCT Permanent Secretary, Engr. John Obinna Chukwu, the Director of Treasury, Alhaji Ibrahim Bomoi and the embattled Chief Executive Officer of the Board, Mr. Isa Muhammad Ari.
It would be recalled that the bill for the establishment of the revenue board was signed into law early this year by former President Goodluck Jonathan following the passage of the bill by the 7th National Assembly.
However, trouble started few months ago when the Chief Executive Officer of the Board, who also functions as the chairman of the agency’s governing board, Mr. Ari, wrote the Permanent Secretary, Engr. John Obinna Chukwu notifying him of some sensitive sections of the law establishing the FCT-IRS.
Mr. Ari demanded that all FCTA revenue generating agencies and departments such as AGIS, Water Board, VIO, amongst others should operate a single revenue collecting account with the FCTIRS as contained in the board’s establishment Act, a development the Permanent Secretary viewed as an attempt to whittle down his administrative and financial powers.
A reliable source in the Permanent Secretary’s office told our correspondent that he responded to the FCT-IRS Chief Executive Officer, warning him to stop future correspondence on the matter, even as he reminded him that the FCTIRS is an agency under the office of the Permanent Secretary.
Speaking on the development, a senior Director who spoke on condition of anonymity said “Mr. Ari should have calmed down and played along till a new minister comes in.
“Trying to gather all revenue into a single collection point will never happen, even if that is what the establishment Act stipulates. Some of these banks where the revenue generated are being paid to by some FCTA departments and agencies give some key officials several millions every month as kick-backs and these men won’t want these to just go like that,” he stressed.
The Director also alleged that when the FCT-IRS Chief Executive Officer/Chairman was uncompromising in his stance to centralize the collection of revenue in the FCT as stipulated by the Act, the Permanent Secretary in collaboration with the Director of Treasury started plotting for his removal from office as the board chairman.
When our correspondent contacted Ari on the phone, he declined to comment on the matter.