Adeosun: We’ve saved N125bn from reducing official allowances
Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, says the ministry has been able to reduce travel and stationery allowances by N125 billion in 2016 and 2017.
In a document released on Sunday to review the performance of the ministry between 2015 and 2017, Adeosun said this was achieved by the efficiency unit set up by the ministry in November 2015.
“The government has saved N34 billion on travel and transport for 2016 compared to 2015 figures and a further N57 billion on same travel and transport in 2017 compared to 2016,” the document released by Oluyinka Akintunde, media spokesman to the minister, read.
“Again, on office stationeries and computer consumables, the government saved N24 billion in 2016 as against the previous year and a further N10 billion in 2017 compared to 2016 expenditure on the same line item.”
Commenting on the voluntary assets and income declaration scheme (VAIDS), Adeosun said the programme is now receiving information on companies that evaded or underpaid taxes.
“You will remember that the Whistleblower Policy was introduced in December 2016 and since its introduction, we have had 8,373 communications out of which 1,231 are whistleblowing tips,” she said.
“We have carried out 791 investigations and completed 534 of those investigations. Ten are presently under prosecution and we have secured four convictions.
“For the first time, we are paying N439 million to about 14 whistleblowers who gave us specific tips on tax evaders. From the specific information provided on companies which underpaid their taxes, we were able to go in and communicate with the companies.
“We have been able to recover the sum of N13.8 billion as a result of those specific tips and so we are paying these set of whistleblowers this month. This is different for us because most of the whistleblowers in the past have been about stolen money.
“With the extension of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), we are getting more tips on tax evasion which of course is a crime against us all.”