FG set to audit FIRS, Customs’ revenues

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The Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation is to conduct revenue assurance and Information Technology audit on the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigerian Customs Service.

The audit is part of the Fiscal Governance and Institutions Project, a collaborative programme of the Federal Government and the World Bank.

The project is aimed at strengthening revenue collection management and accounting processes, as well as transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.

A statement on Saturday said the Auditor-General of the Federation, Anthony Ayine, had met the managements of the FIRS and NCS over the project.

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Ayine, in separate meetings, asked the FIRS and NCS to grant his office free access to personnel, documents, databases and IT applications for the purpose of the assignment.

The statement said the AuGF visited the Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Babatunde Fowler, and the Comptroller General of the NCS, Hameed Ali, on Thursday.

At the meetings, Ayine, according to the statement, stressed that the audit was aimed at improving the revenue of government so as to reduce the heavy burden of borrowing on the country.

He said, “Our engagement is essentially to ensure that the collection of revenue is lawfully made. We will also verify that procedures and checks are in place and properly applied.

“We will work to ascertain that accounts are duly kept and appropriate remittances are made to the authorised accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“We will verify and evaluate the efficiency of internal controls and accounting systems and also review where applicable, areas where reforms have been made.”

During the meeting with the AuGF team, Fowler sought assistance for the FIRS to ensure that deducted VAT and Withholding Tax are remitted to government on a monthly basis.

On his part, Ali sought the AuGF’s support in the area of capacity building.

The Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation is among five government institutions tasked with implementing the Fiscal Governance and Institutions Project, which was approved by the World Bank Board on June 27, 2018.

The others are the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, the National Bureau of Statistics and the Bureau of Public Procurement.

The project has four key components: strengthening revenue management; strengthening controls; transparency and accountability in the use of public funds; and strengthening economic and fiscal statistics and implementation support.

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