A crisis is brewing between the Federal Fire Service in Cross River and its host state counterpart over the issue of revenue collection in the state.
The state Fire Service has accused the federal fire service of encroachment into its areas of revenue generation.
The Cross River Fire Service made this complaint known in two separate letters to the Controller General and the South-South zonal controller of the Federal Fire Service.
The letters, dated Dec. 9, 2022, and signed by Sylvester Ndifon, Director of Cross River fire service and obtained by NAN, were also copied to the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice.
The letter to the Controller General has as it ref: CRS/FSD/ADM/HQT. 1/Vol. 1/16 while that of the zonal Controller has as it ref: CRS/FSD/ADM/PRI. 1/VOl.1/129.
The letter to the Controller General is entitled “Notice of Gross Irregularities/Jurisdiction Encroachment at the Instance of Federal Fire Service Personnel in Cross River State likely to Cause Breach of Peace between the State and Federal Fire Service.”
Similarly, that to the zonal Controller has its heading as “Notice of Continuous Perpetration of Crime, Connivance and diversion of Cross River State Internally Generated Revenue to Federal Fire Service Coffers Contrary to Federal Republic and Nigeria Gazette and National Fire Service Case 2013.”
One of the letters accused the federal fire service of undermining the Cross River government on the issue.
“This is to the extent that our notice letters concerning their gross irregularities and jurisdictional encroachment meant nothing to them as these misdeeds have increased in recent times.
“The increase is such that it seems the federal fire service is challenging the Cross River fire service to a contest against Service ethics and contrary to federal republic of Nigeria gazette and national fire service code 2013,” it stated.
The state Fire service appealed to the Attorney General of the state to step in to recover the monies the federal fire service has collected and returned same to their coffers.
The letter to the Controller General stated that the federal fire service can only collect fire service levies in the FCT and not in the states.
According to the letter, “This declaration has been flouted nonstop by your men who see their operation as a right instead of violation and de-regulation.
It appealed to the Controller General to address this unhealthy situation that may instigate rancour between the supposed partners in progress if nothing is done timely.