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Easter message: FIRS apologies to Christian community over advertorial

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has apologized to the Christian community in Nigeria over its Easter advertorial on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“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 purposely 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 FIRS said in a statement signed by Dare Adekanmbi, special adviser media, to the FIRS chairman.

According to the statement, the FIRS intention was to uniquely engage taxpayers within the Christian community 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. We wish to offer our unreserved apologies for this misinterpretation.

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

The FIRS said further that it has no religion and will not bring down any religious body to offend the sensibilities of adherents of the various faiths in the country.

It further clarified that its goal is to assess, collect and account for revenue for the wellbeing of the country.

“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,” the FIRS said.