Mrs Shade Omoniyi, Chairperson of Kwara State Internal Revenue Service, has said the no amount of blackmail will stop the ongoing reform in the agency.
SaharaReporters recall that a non-governmental organisation, Kwara Advancement Initiative, had claimed it uncovered N325m diverted from the accounts of KW-IRS disguised as payments for non existing projects done by one Compumetric Solutions Limited.
The group in a petition signed by Ibrahim Sulyman asked the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission to fish out the person(s) behind the firm for the purpose of transparency and accountability to the people of Kwara.
But reacting in a statement on Wednesday, Omoniyi asked the ICPC to probe the agency’s activities as its leadership had nothing to hide.
She said the N357m payouts to the firm was nothing close to about N3.5bn paid out under the Abdulfatah Ahmed-led Peoples Democratic Party administration in the state.
She said, “The group also alleged that Compumetrics is getting paid for doing nothing for the KW-IRS. Nothing can be so far from the truth. The consultants has deployed IT infrastructures with both front and backend interfaces. Some of its services have included training of 26 project members, mapping and documentation of current processes; conducting sessions with Process Owners and Subject Matter Experts on process improvement and merging of similar processes which have reduced the number of business processes and documentation of same; data cleansing and stratification; Completion of key modules and test running on the platform; development of template for the online receipt and Inventory Management System for the store process.
“The consultants also consolidated all liabilities for banks and petroleum sector for debt recovery; developed a debt profile template for the use of revenue generating directorates; and developed SMS and email notification to taxpayers as well as deployment of POS machines for collections. It is important to state that this administration has been very prudent and conscious of the need to manage public resources. Prior to this administration, the payout to consultants at KW-IRS was about N3.5b yearly — whereas the current consultants have only been paid N357m since the inception of this administration.
“Worse still, the former consultants were paid fees on total collections, instead of what passed through the system, a clear violation of their agreement. They were getting paid for solutions not provided. The former consultants had a practice of not submitting invoices for work done; rather, directive to pay them came from the Executive Chairman’s office. Cases of this are also on going with relevant anti-graft agency.
“The group also talked about the issue of withholding tax and VAT deducted from the invoice. The basic response is that VAT as at January 2020 was 5%, while the 7.5% VAT regime only started in February 2020. The withholding tax can be either 5% or 10%, depending on the business name of the company. That is the position of the extant law. The group also claimed that the KW-IRS has not been releasing IGR details even on its website. This is another lie. Information on IGR collections for Q1 and Q2 2020 is on the KWIRS website and all their other online and social media handles, which detailed the performance on IGR collections. The KW-IRS only recently just issued a press release to that effect on July 23rd, 2020. Details about IGR figures for the whole of 2019 are also on the website and were released at various times in the budget implementation report.
“Having said the above, the KW-IRS is aware that the ongoing reforms of the present administration will not go unchallenged by some forces, internally and externally, for whom the agency was once a cash-cow! But the new leadership of the KW-IRS is fully aware of the enormous trust reposed in the new administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and the need to do things the right way.”
SaharaReporters, New York