FIRS Expresses Apology to Christians,CAN Over Easter Message

After receiving criticism from Christians regarding its Easter message, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) issued an apology.

A poster depicting a Point of Sale (PoS) machine with the phrase, “Jesus paid your debt, not your taxes.” was released by the FIRS as part of their Easter message to Christians in Nigeria.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) was the first to demand an apology after the message sparked widespread condemnation.

Although FIRS removed the post later, they did so with an apology.

In a statement sent late Tuesday by the Special Adviser (Media) to the FIRS Chairman, the agency expressed its “unreserved apologies” for the misunderstanding.

“We did not put out the flier purposely to degrade Jesus Christ or detract from the enormous sacrifice He made for humanity.” the agency said, nonetheless.

“As an agency, we did not intend for the post to convey the implied meaning or unintended consequences that were being read into it,” the statement stated.

The Federal Investigational Revenue Service (FIRS) is an impartial government organisation that respects the religious beliefs of all citizens and will not discriminate against anyone based on their faith. “Our objective is to evaluate, gather, and report on funds for the benefit of the Federation,” FIRS stated.

When people pay their taxes, it’s like putting money into the country’s future. We deeply regret the unanticipated backlash our Easter message received from CAN and other Christians. We sincerely apologise.

Continue reading the complete statement down below.

Jesus Christ Must Never Be Disgraced—FIRS

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has made a statement regarding a flyer that was shared on our social media sites with the title “Jesus paid your debts, not your taxes.” We, the undersigned government agency, want to make it clear that we did not intend to discredit Jesus Christ or diminish the immense sacrifice He made for the sake of humanity when we distributed the flyer. We know full well that this immense sacrifice is the central focus of the Easter season.

Paying one’s taxes is an important civic duty, and this message was our way of reaching out to taxpayers in a special way to remind them of that. We would agree that the message caused some people to feel uncomfortable. As an organisation, we did not intend for the message to convey any implied or unintended meaning. “We realise that the intended message may have been to creatively engage taxpayers.” CAN admits as much in its statement. Excellent! We deeply regret this misunderstanding and would want to express our sincerest apologies.

As an ethical organisation, FIRS does not believe in bringing down any religion or offending the sensibilities of the country’s many faiths. The health of the Federation depends on our ability to evaluate, gather, and report on financial resources. Paying taxes is, in our view, an investment in the future of the nation. We really regret the unanticipated backlash our Easter Sunday message received from CAN and other Christians. Please accept our sincere apologies.

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Adesekanmbi, Dare

Media Specialist for the Chairman of the Financial Institutions Regulatory System

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