Senate Furious Over ₦17trn Loss To Tax Waivers

Abba Dukawa Abuja

The Senate, through its Committee on Finance, has frowned at the N17trillion loss incurred by the country on tax waivers within the last five years.

It consequently urged the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to suspend the tax waivers being largely abused and substitute it with rebating system.

Senate’s objection to the alleged abused tax waivers came to the fore during 2024 budget presentation of FIRS to its committee on finance.

The observation came as the FIRS chairman; Zach Adedeji projected N19.4trillion as targeted total tax collection for 2024, but insisted that the fresh N2.7trillion Tax Credit planned for road construction in the country by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), should be stopped.

In his remarks at the budget presentation session, the committee chairman, Senator Sani Musa (APC Niger East), told the FIRS boss that tax waivers abuse had cost the country about N17trillion loss within the last five years, and should be suspended and substituted with rebating system. Adding that Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) projection of N19trillion as total tax collection for 2024 is good when compared to N11.16trillion achieved in 2023. But, the Senate believes that you can do more even to the tune of N30trillion if required measures are put in place.

“As impressive and encouraging the performance and projections of FIRS are, under your leadership, this committee and by extension the Senate, on a serious note, urge you to look at the direction of tax waivers largely being abused with attendant and avoidable losses being incurred on yearly basis.

“Available records show that within the last five years, about N17trillion have been lost by the country to tax waivers. It should be suspended and possibly substituted with rebating system,” he said.

In his presentation, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) chairman Zach Adedeji informed the committee that to save Nigerians from multiple taxation, FIRS in collaboration with committee set up by the President Bola Tinubu, would reduce the 62 different taxes to 8.

“President Bola Tinubu has seen the issue of multiple taxation as a pool of problems that is why he set up the presidential committee on tax reforms and fiscal policy, as of today in Nigeria, we have 62 types of taxes being collected.

The sad news about that is that less than eight out of the entire 62, accounted for 97 per cent of the collection and we are already consulting and engaging the state government on it

“At the end of the day, we won’t have more than eight or nine taxes that the state and federal government would be collecting,” he said.

On the controversy trailing the implementation of Tax Credit Scheme for road construction by CBN, the FIRS boss insisted the N2.5trillion earlier committed to it, must be fully implemented before thinking of any fresh one.

He said: “Regarding tax credit, what I said was that the programme is laudable but that the N2.5trillion being spent on it by NNPCL should be exhausted before bringing fresh request.

“N2.7trillion fresh request being made should not be entertained because all NNPC revenue should not be spent on roads when the Ministry of Works is there.


A CONSTITUTION Amendment Bill to introduce state police has scaled second reading in the House of Representatives.

The bill, which was sponsored by 13 members of the House, enjoyed support from majority of the lawmakers in the green chamber who believed that concerns of political victimisation by state governors, should take the backseat to the current state of insecurity across the country.

Last week, President Bola Tinubu and 36 state governors considered the creation of state police as solution to the menacing security challenges like kidnapping and banditry ubiquitous in the country.

State police has been a subject of controversy since the Seventh National Assembly and has failed to make it through the amendment phase.

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had recently restated their position on state policing, as the solution to the country’s worsening security situation, lamenting that Nigeria is “almost on the road to Venezuela”.

Also, regional socio-political groups such as Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Middle Belt Forum, and the Northern Elders’ Forum, have repeatedly called for state police as solution the myriad of increasing security challenges confronting the nation.

Already, states in the South-West geopolitical zone have formed the Amotekun while their counterparts in the South-East also created state-owned security outfit Ebube Agu. The Benue Guards has also been operational in Benue State in the North Central while states like Katsina, Zamfara and other bandit-prone sub-nationals have also come up with similar state-established outfits.

However, these outfits have not been effective as anticipated as they don’t have the backing of the Federal Government or the Presidency while states continue to demand that Amotekun, Ebube Agu and others are granted license to bear assault rifles like AK-47 to confront criminals.

Stories by Abba Dukawa Abuja

House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions has ordered an oil firm, Stat-Oil ((Equinor Nigeria Energies Oil & Gas Ltd) now Chappel Energies Nig. Ltd, to pay the total sum of N200 million to one of its former staff, Mr. Moses Adie, whose appointment was terminated more than two decades ago.

The matter has been lingering with the company not living up to its billing as it has over the years refused to honour the committee’s invitation to appear before it for an amicable settlement.

Mr. Adie’s prayers yielded fruitful outcome haven gone through tears of struggles and hardship when on the 6th February, 2024, the committee after three invitations on the oil firm without response passed a resolution that the company must pay the said sum, after the fourth botched invitation.

said his case started on the 23rd January, 2000 when he was invited to the office of Col. Oddmund Iversen (Rtd) a Norwegian, who then was the security manager but posed as manager, and ordered Adie to sign his termination letter which was attached with a cheque of N33,037.75.

Mr. Adie said he refused to sign on the premise that he was a confirmed permanent staff and had committed no misconduct or found wanting in any manner to be so humiliated with unfounded dismissal/ termination against the rule of engagement.

“The company refused to comply to legislative instruction of the House Resolution of 8/9th Assembly which solicited their compliance to the cause of Justice.

The House Committee, irked by Chappel Energies Nigeria Limited refusal to honour its invitations said the nonchalant attitude exhibited by the company was an abuse and also an insult to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the petitioner explained.

The committee therefore granted Moses’ prayer noting that the petitioner incurred heavy financial burden while pursuing justice.

“Therefore, Adie is soliciting for the sum of One hundred and fifty million (N150, 000, 000) plus the present value of 33,037.75 as at 24years ago which should be about N50, 000, 000. Other things being equal, expectedly, Moses is asking for the total sum of N200,000, 000 naira, this is to wipe away tears, reduce trauma and restore his dignity as a man and to offset debts,” the committee said.

The House of Representatives has ordered an investigation into the alleged privatisation and concessioning of 22 out of the Nigeria’s 33 functional silos in the country.

The House mandated its joint Committee on Agricultural Production and Services, Privatisation and Commercialisation, and Public Assets, to investigate the privatisation/concession of 22 out of 33 Government Silos for grain storage and other critical national assets in Nigeria and report back within four weeks.

The House also urged the federal government to, as a matter of priority, consider subsidising agriculture to revitalise the economy and improve food security in Nigeria.

This was fallout of a motion by Hon. Inuwa Garba, who noted that in September, 2017, the federal government commenced the process of concessioning 22 out of its 33 silo complexes across the country to the private sector to ensure availability of affordable grains across the country.

He said there was need to scrutinise circumstances surrounding the privatisation or concession of Government Silos for Grains Storage in the country considering the vital role these silos play in ensuring food security across the country.

Briefing newsmen after, the lawmaker, who chairs the Science and Engineering Committee of the House said he considered the decision wrong, as this period of food crisis would have been the best time the storage therein would have played the roles for which they were built.

While arguing that the socio-economic wellbeing of Nigerians should be paramount to any private interest, he said President Tinubu may have been misled into believing that there are enough grains stock to be released for Nigerians.


The Senate has resolved to probe the totality of N30trillion Ways and Means spent by former President Muhammadu Buhari- led federal government, which according to it, was recklessly spent.

It specifically alleged that reckless spending of the overdraft collected from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under Godwin Emefiele, largely accounted for food and security crises bedeviling the nation now.

It consequently resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to carry out investigation on what and what the N30trillion Ways and Means were spent on by the immediate past government since details of such spending, were deliberately not made available to the National Assembly.

The committee which will be constituted Wednesday (today) will also probe the N10trillion expended on Anchor Borrowers Scheme, the $2.4billion forex transaction out of $7billion obligation made for that purpose as well as other intervention programmes.

Senate’s resolutions on planned investigations followed consideration of report of its joint committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Finance, National Planning, Agriculture and Appropriation on State of the Economy after interactive sessions with the federal government’s economic management team.

The report consideration in plenary , was very stormy with accusations and counter accusations by Senators on why and how the N22 .7trillion Ways and Means was passed by the 9th Senate May 2023 and additional N7.2trillion passed 30th December, 2023 by the 10th Senate.

Specifically, the Whip of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume (APC Borno South), in his contribution, blamed the Senate for approving the request without details from the then president.

“When the N22.7trillion Ways and Means approval request was brought before the 9th Senate, I insisted that details of spending made with it, should be provided before approval but the Senate then went ahead and approved it,” he said.

He was, however, countered by Deputy Senate President Jibrin Barau, who said the decision taken then, was a collective one with caveat that the executive should provide details later, which was, however, not provided.

In his remarks, Senate President Godswill Akpabio said as recommended by the committee and supported by most of the senators, “a thorough probe must be carried out on the N22.7trillion Ways and Means approved in May 2023 by the 9th Senate which later increased to N30trillion, with passage of the N7.2trillion accrued interest forwarded to us for passage in the December last year.”

“The Food and Security crises confronting the nation now are traceable to the way and manner the said Ways and Means, were given, collected and spent.

“Details of such spending must be submitted for required scrutiny and possible remedies, because what Nigerians want now is food on their table, which must be given.

“Other recommendations made by the committee on the need for thorough investigation of the N10trillion Anchor borrowers’ programme, and other intervention programmes, running into billions of dollars must be investigated.

“But as rightly recommended by the joint committee, security agencies should as a matter of national urgency combat all forms of insecurity across the country for farmers to access their farms for required food production that is highly needed in the country now.” he said.