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FIRS apologises to CAN, christians for controversial Easter message

We will never denigrate Jesus Christ—-FIRS

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FIRS apologises to CAN, christians for controversial Easter message

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has apologised to Christians, including the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), for a recent social media post that caused controversy after facing backlash for its Easter message.

The message in question featured a flier with a Point of Sales (PoS) machine and the caption, “Jesus paid your debt, not your taxes”, which sparked widespread condemnation.

Following the pressure and calls for an apology, FIRS has now expressed regret for the message, which has since been deleted.

“We wish to offer our unreserved apologies for this misinterpretation,” the agency said in a late Tuesday statement by the Special Adviser (Media) to the FIRS Chairman.

FIRS ‘Has No Religion’

But the agency said it “did not put out the flier purposively to denigrate Jesus Christ or detract from the huge sacrifice He made for humanity”.

Therefore, “The unintended meaning/insinuation being read into the post was not what we were out to communicate as an agency,” the statement read.

“FIRS, as a responsible agency, has no religion and will not bring down any religion or offend the sensibilities of adherents of various faiths in the country. Our goal is to assess, collect and account for revenue for the wellbeing of the Federation,” FIRS said.

“We believe it is an investment in the progress of the country when citizens pay their taxes. Once again, we wish to apologise to CAN and Christians who felt offended at the unintended consequence of our message on Easter Sunday

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READ THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW

We will never denigrate Jesus Christ—-FIRS

Our attention has been drawn to a statement by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) about a flier posted on our social media platforms with the headline “Jesus paid your debts, not your taxes.” As a responsible agency of government, we would like to say we did not put out the flier purposively to denigrate Jesus Christ or detract from the huge sacrifice He made for humanity. We are acutely aware that the essence of the Easter period is to celebrate this huge sacrifice

The message was our way of uniquely engaging taxpayers and to remind them of the need to prioritise payment of their taxes as a civic obligation. Yes, we would say the message ruffled feathers in some circles. The unintended meaning/insinuation being read into the post was not what we were out to communicate as an agency. Good a thing, this much is acknowledged by CAN in its statement wherein it said “We recognise that the intended message may have been to creatively engage taxpayers…” We wish to offer our unreserved apologies for this misinterpretation.

FIRS, as a responsible agency, has no religion and will not bring down any religion or offend the sensibilities of adherents of various faiths in the country. Our goal is to assess, collect and account for revenue for the wellbeing of the Federation. We believe it is an investment in the progress of the country when citizens pay their taxes. Once again, we wish to apologise to CAN and Christians who felt offended at the unintended consequence of our message on Easter Sunday.

Signed

Dare ADEKANMBI

Special Adviser (Media) to the FIRS chairman

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