FCT perm sec, di­rec­tor bicker over rev­enue col­lec­tion

Daily Trust - - CITY NEWS - By Terkula Igidi

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.

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