Taiwo Oyedele, Chairman, chairman of the Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee set up by Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu on Friday clarified reports regarding the N5 billion provided by the Federal Inland Revenue Service to the Joint Tax Board for funding activities of his committee.
In a statement posted on his verified Twitter () handle, Oyedele, a ta partner at PwC before his appointment some weeks ago, assured that the committee members are responsible, prudent and accountable with every Naira of public funds we have been entrusted with.
“We collect receipts for fuel, stationeries, and virtually every Naira that we spend to the extent possible. Over N4 billion of the said funds transferred by the FIRS to the JTB for the Committee’s work is yet to be spent and very much intact in the JTB account.”
As such, he continued, all the committee’s expenses are properly documented and available for audit all its expenses are properly documented and available for audit.
Members of the team, he noted further, work volunteers “and are only paid reasonable allowances to cover their out of pocket expenses as we cannot afford to pay the commercial value for their time, skills and experience.
“As the Chairman of the Committee, despite working full time on the assignment, I do not receive a salary,” Oyedele added.
The committee, he continued, has as mandate, “ensuring prudence and accountability in the management of our national resources. It will therefore be a contradiction for the same Committee to be wasteful or reckless in its own affairs.”
The committee’s budget, he stressed, “includes provisions for a national “Data for Tax” project, which the JTB has been championing for over two years.”
The project, he recalled, “was presented to the National Economic Council in 2022 and was meant to be funded by the federal government and the 36 states. However it stalled due to lack of funds. Given the importance of the project to the effective reform of our tax system, it was included in the Committee’s budget.”
Oyedele listed other expenses in the Committee’s budget as approved by the National Assembly to include setting up of offices for the Committee in Lagos and Abuja, payment of salaries for the full time staff engaged by the Committee, travels and other logistics for over 70 members representing more than 40 institutions and stakeholder groups mapped to 6 different Subcommittees, more than 30 Secretariat personnel and over 40 students across the country.
The budget, he continued, also “covers planned stakeholder engagements with various sectors and interest groups, as well as international engagements and understudy of some leading tax regimes around the world, and so on. The budget covers a period of one year being the lifespan of the committee.
According to him, “the Committee was not set up simply to produce reports and recommendations, we are also charged with the implementation of recommended and