Buhari Nominates Muhammad Nami To Replace Babatunde Fowler As FIRS Boss

A file photo of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) office in Abuja. Photo: Twitter- @firsNigeria

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated Muhammad Nami to replace Babatunde Fowler as the new Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.

The President also approved the composition of a new board for the FIRS subject to Senate confirmation.

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.

According to a statement from the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Nami is a well-trained tax, accounting and management professional with highly rated qualifications and professional practice and licenses from relevant professional bodies.

He replaces Fowler whose term of office expired on Monday, 9th December, 2019.

The outgoing FIRS boss is expected to hand over to the most senior director on the board, who will take charge, pending the senate confirmation of the new board.

 

Muhammad Nami Bio

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.

Nigerian Govt Launches Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularisation Scheme

 

The Nigerian Government has unveiled the Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularisation Scheme (VOARS), as part of efforts to increase the nation’s tax base.

Addressing an audience at the unveiling ceremony on Tuesday in Abuja, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, said the scheme was aimed at encouraging foreign investments to develop infrastructure in Nigeria.

He explained that the VOARS was an idea initiated by the Swiss Consortium with a view to facilitating regularisation of offshore assets owned by Nigerians.

READ ALSO: AGF, Finance Minister, Others Attend Unveiling Of VOARS

The AGF, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to key into the initiative of the government.

He gave assurance that when funds were voluntarily declared by the owners, the Federal Government would grant a permanent waiver of criminal prosecution for tax offences and offences related to offshore assets.

According to him, this includes immunity from tax audit of the declared and regularised offshore assets.

The unveiling ceremony held at the Transcorp Hilton in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Also in attendance were the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, and the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Babatunde Fowler, among others.

See photos below:

Nigeria Hunts Down 700,000 Firms In Tax Crackdown To Offset Oil Slump

taxNigeria has hunted down 700,000 firms that have never paid taxes, as the country seeks new revenue sources to offset low oil prices that have pushed Africa’s biggest economy into its first recession in more than 20 years, its tax chief said.

The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Tunde Fowler, said in a rare interview that he also expected 10 million individuals to be discovered by December and made to pay taxes for the first time.

The OPEC member slid into recession in the second quarter and militant attacks on oil facilities in its Niger Delta region have cut crude production, which provides 70 per cent of government revenues, by around a third.

Planned loan deals with foreign lenders have yet to materialise, prompting the leader of the Senate to speak of an “economic emergency”.

The government, struggling to fund a record 6.06 trillion Naira ($18.6 billion) 2016 budget that aims to stimulate growth by tripling capital expenditure, set FIRS a target of raising 4.95 trillion Naira in taxes, up from 3.73 trillion Naira last year.

Persuading Nigerians to pay tax is no easy task. FIRS does not appear to be on track to meet its target for tax collection so far this year, but experts believe it can do better in future.

“We collected a little over 2.3 trillion Naira, so far – from January to 31 August. It is almost at par with last year but take into consideration that the economy is going through a little slowdown,” said Fowler.

He said revenue from Value-Added Tax (VAT) had increased by 25 per cent year-on-year and Corporate Income Tax held steady over the same period but Petroleum Profit Tax was expected to have halved, mainly due to low oil prices.

Fowler, appointed last year after a stint as tax chief in Lagos where monthly tax revenues surged by 70 per cent in the four years to December 2012, said FIRS expects to generate 5.2 trillion Naira in 2017.

Bank of Japan Introduces Negative Interest Rate  

Bank of JapanFor the first time in its history, the Bank of Japan has introduced a negative interest rate.

The benchmark rate of -0.1% means that commercial banks will be charged by the central bank for some deposits.

It hopes this will be a disincentive to banks to save and prompt them to lend in another attempt to counter the continuing economic slump in the world’s third-largest economy.

It is a move that has been on the cards for Japan’s stagnating economy for well over 10 years.

The decision to go negative came after a narrow 5 to 4 vote at the Bank of Japan’s first meeting of the year on Friday.

According to the central bank, it will cut interest rates further into negative territory if need be for as long as it helps to achieve an inflation target of 2%.

FIRS Redeploys 26 Directors

FIRSThe Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Mr Babatunde Fowler, has approved the transfer of 26 directorate cadre staff and the introduction of state coordinators.

According to a statement released by the revenue agency, this is part of plans to widen the tax base by adding five million new individual taxpayers to the country-wide tax register, by December 2016.

According to the new arrangement, each of the 13 state coordinators will supervise operations in their areas of jurisdiction. Two directors were moved to the headquarters in Abuja.

The state structure is part of the vision of the new FIRS Chairman to pay closer attention on corporate taxpayers in all states of the federation, and stronger collaboration with state boards of internal revenue, to increase overall tax yield accruable to the three tiers of government.