President Muhammadu Buhari has literally sacked Babatunde Fowler as the chairman Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
President Buhari, however, appointedMr Muhammad Nami as the new FIRS chairman subject to confirmation by the senate.
Muhammad Nami, the new FIRS boss graduated from Bayero University Kano where he studied Sociology and proceeded to obtain an MBA from Ahmadu Bello University. He his a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) and an Associate member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) & Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN). Currently, he is the Managing Consultant of Manam Professional Services (Chartered Tax Practitioners and Business Advisers).
The decision by President Buhari not to extend Babatunde Fowler’s tenure has been met with mixed reactions. Many had expected his tenure will be extended considering his stellar performance as FIRS Chairman. From his year of appointment (2015) till the end of 2018, tax collection under Fowler’s regime grew by 42.2% to N5.3 trillion from N3.7 trillion while also increasing Nigeria’s tax base to over 20 million taxpayers compared with c.10m as at 2016. Notably, the sum of N5.3tn collected last year is a record high in Nigeria’s tax collection history.
Fowler was responsible for the digitisation drive of the FIRS with notable improvements in tax registration, audit and payment procedures. He also introduced the Tax Amnesty Program which implemented the much-publicized Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).