A non-governmental organisation, Kwara Advancement Initiative, says it has uncovered N325m diverted from the accounts of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Services disguised as payments for non existing projects done by one Compumetric Solutions Limited.
KAI in a petition signed by Ibrahim Sulyman asked the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission to fish out the persons behind the firm for the purpose of transparency and accountability to the people of Kwara.
The group accused Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of running a secret government as citizens could no longer access information that were usually readily available on the revenue agency’s website.
The group said, “This is why as responsible organisation, we decided to beam searchlights and we are shocked to uncover so many financial frauds that have been carried out by top management officials of KWIRS in connivance with ministry of finance.
“On the 6th of April, 2020, we noticed a payment of eighty four millions, two hundred and sixty four thousands, six hundred and eleven naira forty one kobo (#84,264,611.41) as gross payment of 15% collection fees on spendable collections to Compumetric Solutions Limited with voucher number 2020/0300. This payment voucher came with another net payment of seventy three millions, eight hundreds and thirty one thousands, eight hundred and fifty naira (#73,831,850.00) both as payments for the month of January, 2020
“Also on the 6th May, 2020, another payment of 15% collections fees on spendable collections was made to same company with voucher number 2020/0345 for another non existing project. This time, a gross sum of forty four millions, three hundred and sixteen thousand ,three hundreds and twenty naira (#44,316,320.00) while #40,771,014.40 was the net amount paid according to that voucher. This brings the total amount paid in the two vouchers for month of January , 2020 to the tune of N114,602,864.40 (One hundred and fourteen million, six hundred and two thousand, eight hundred and sixty four naira and forty kobo).
“The above stated transactions have also cost the state government a statutory sum of N18,029,844.84 deducted for VAT, WHT and Developmental Levy expected to be paid to the FIRS and KWIRS.”
The group said it observed that there exists no agreement or any MOU communicated to the internal audit department of KWIRS, which will give clue on whether Compumetrics Solution Limited was due for payment of such magnitude for services rendered. Neither is there evidence that the company is having an agreement with her for the monthly payment of 15% of spendable collections and 10% of non-spendable collections with effect from January, 2020
It added, “It is obvious that the two payments above did not only violate the extant laws but also suggested sharp practices by agents of government in KWIRS and the Ministry of finance and this must be thoroughly investigated and anyone found culpable dealt with using the full weight of law. According to the group, ‘it is frightening that a contract of such magnitude did not even pass through the due process let alone have the endorsement of internal audit before fund are being disbursed by Kwara State Government.
“Apart from flagrant disregard for public procurement law, the governor in conjunction with KWIRS Chairman and the head of account has approved the monthly payments for the company which has no records of rendering any services for the state.
Its should be noted that the company, Compumetric Solution Limited, is yet to complete the installation of its new platforms tagged “Project Phoenix” upon which contract was made with state government to replace existing platforms for tax payments.
“Also, it’s a public knowledge that the last collection platform working with KWIRS for the purpose of tax collections is the Amanda whose contract was terminated in January 2020 and since then, the KWIRS is in the process of building another collection platform through the Project Phoenix. It is therefore surprising and questionable that such heavy payments were being made in advance on behalf of state government for services that is yet to be kick-started, the Group said
“For a company which is receiving heavy financial inflow from government without providing any services, it may be a pointer that some powerful people in government are employing private sector apparatus to swindle the government by engaging in serious money laundering activities. The Group further stated that, ‘our organisation demands that the persons behind Compumetric Solution Limited must be unravelled for the purpose of transparency and accountability to the people of Kwara on whose behalves the government is acting.
“From the payment vouchers numbered 2020/0300 and that of 2020/0345 , it is clear that the deductions rates of 5% and 7.5% in VAT with 5% and 10% federal WHT are not agreeing. For instance in one of the payments vouchers that was observed, the net amount said to have been paid on that voucher with code 2020/0345 stood at #40,771,014.40 which is against the amount that appeared on the said voucher. All these infractions and arithmetical errors does not reflect that this government has professionals capable of delivering the services expected from it by citizens.”