The Federal Inland Revenue Service has apologized to the Christian Association of Nigeria over an Easter post the association described as provocative.

PUNCH earlier reported that the Christian body demanded a public apology from FIRS after the Service posted a photo on its X (formerly Twitter), #FIRSNigeria.

The service shared a photo with the caption “Jesus paid your debts, not your taxes.”

The post sparked reactions from Nigerians, especially Christians.
In a statement by its National Director of National Affairs and Social Welfare, Abimbola Ayuba, on Tuesday, CAN asked the FIRS to “offer a public apology for the suffering caused”, while urging public institutions and private institutions to be aware of religious diversities. in the country.

In its response Tuesday night, the service said its intention was not to denigrate the Easter message, but rather to engage taxpayers and remind them of their civic duty.

In a statement signed by Dare Adekambi, Special Adviser on Social Communication to the President of FIRS, Zacch Adedeji, FIRS offered its “unreserved apologies” to CAN, adding that the agency had no religion and had no intention of offending supporters of Christian faith.

The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to a statement by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) regarding a pamphlet posted on our social media platforms with the headline 'Jesus paid your debts, not your taxes'. As a responsible government agency, we would like to say that we did not purposely publish the pamphlet to denigrate Jesus Christ or diminish the enormous sacrifice He made for humanity. We are fully aware that the essence of the Easter period is to celebrate this enormous sacrifice.

“The message was our unique way of engaging taxpayers and reminding them of the need to prioritize paying their taxes as a civic obligation.

“Yes, we would say the message angered some circles. The unintended meaning/sinuation read into the post was not what we intended to communicate as an agency. Thankfully this is recognized by CAN in their statement which states: 'We recognize that the intended message may have been to creatively engage taxpayers…' We would like to offer our unreserved apologies for this misinterpretation.

“FIRS, as a responsible agency, has no religion and will not overthrow any religion or offend the sensibilities of adherents of various religions in the country.

'Our objective is to assess, collect and account for revenues for the well-being of the Federation. We believe it is an investment in the country's progress when citizens pay their taxes. Once again, we would like to apologize to CAN and Christians who were offended by the unintended consequence of our message on Easter Sunday. “