Fowler out as FIRS gets new boss

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday replaced Babatunde Fowler with Muhammad M. Nami as chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said in a statement yesterday that Nami’s nomination followed Buhari’s approval of the composition of a new board for the FIRS subject to Senate confirmation.

Shehu said the former FIRS Chairman, Babatunde Fowler, whose term of office expired yesterday, was expected to hand over to the most senior director on the board, who would take charge, pending the senate confirmation of the new board.

He stated: “The board is composed of a member representing each of the six geographical zones and statutory representatives from a select number of ministries and government agencies.

“Mr Muhammad, a well-trained Tax, Accounting and Management professional with highly rated qualifications and professional practice and licenses from relevant professional bodies, has almost three decades of practical working experience in Auditing, Tax Management and Advisory and Management services to clients in the banking, manufacturing, services and public sectors as well as non- profit organizations.

“He is an expert in rendering advisory support services to investors in respect of new business start-ups and management of existing businesses. He has also continuously rendered outsourced services to clients in trading, service and manufacturing sectors of the nation’s economy.

“Muhammad Nami attended Bayero University Kano and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology (1991) and a Masters of Business degree (2004) respectively. He is a fellow of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Institute of Debt Recovery Practitioners of Nigeria and Associate Member of Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered) and Association of National Accountants of Nigeria.

“He started his career with PFK in 1993 and rose to the position of a senior Consultant in charge of Tax management and advisory services. He is currently the managing consultant of Manam Professional Services (Chartered Tax Practitioners and Business Advisers) based in Kaduna, Abuja, Niger State.

“Mr Muhammad has served, and is still serving, on many companies’ Board and Statutory Board Audit Committees. He was appointed as a member, Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Stolen Assets in November, 2017 by President Buhari.

“He is married with children.

It would be recalled that Fowler had been queried in August by President Muhammadu Buhari over differentials in the budgeted collections and actual collections between 2015 and 2018 ostensibly.

Fowler, who was a childhood friend and classmate of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, was appointed by President Buhari on August 18, 2015.

His appointment was confirmed by the Senate on December 9 of the same year.

The challenge before new FIRS boss

The new chairman of the FIRS, Muhammad Nami, will be faced with the daunting task of raising government’s revenue target to fund the 2020 budget and build infrastructure.

He is expected oversee the collection of the new Value Added Tax (VAT) of 7.5 percent which becomes effective in January.


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