FIRS TIGHTEN EXPENDITURE CONTROL: AFTERMATH OF 2.1BIL FRAUD

IFEANYI ONUBA

The Federal Inland Revenue Service has tightened its expenditure control mechanism following an alleged N2.1bn fraud that rocked the organisation.

A top official of the agency, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent on Saturday that a memo had been issued to all departmental heads.

He said  the move was aimed at  preventing  a recurrence of the kind of  fraud discovered three weeks ago by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the agency.

The EFCC reportedly arrested 40 senior management and junior  officials   for   the alleged fraud.

The  money  was said to have been diverted  through payment of Duty Tour Allowances to workers.

Some of the suspects were reportedly paid as much as N101m, N97m, N89m, N84m, N65m, N52m and N46m as Duty Tour Allowances.

The source also said  part of the expenditure control mechanism was a reduction in the approval limit of top officials of the service.

This, the source stated, was aimed at avoiding situations where huge amount of  money  was  approved for various transactions.

The official also said  prior to the discovery of the alleged N2.1bn fraud by the EFCC, the review period for approved expenditure was done monthly.

However, he said  a decision had been made that henceforth approval for expenditure would be tracked on  a  daily basis.

The official added, “Recall that about two weeks ago, some of our officials were invited by the EFCC over allegations of financial impropriety.

“The development resulted in the release of various measures to control expenditure.

“One of them is the tightening of internal control mechanism for expenditure approval.

“Unlike before, we now have a reduction in approval limit for expenses by the approving authority.

“Also, the period for tracking and review of approved expenditure has now been shortened from the usual one month; it will now be done on a daily basis.

“So we now have an arrangement in place where approved expenditure is  tracked in real time.”

Attempts to get the Head, Communications and Servicom Department of the FIRS, Mr Wahab Gbadamosi, were not successful as calls put to his mobile phone did not connect.

Copyright PUNCH.

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