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Monday, September 23, 2019

Chairman of Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service Babatunde Fowler not under investigation – Presidency

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Garba Shehu
Garba Shehu
Malam Garba Shehu is the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, to Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari. This is an official statement from him. The headline might have been adjusted.

Published from Washington, District of Columbia

Following reports making the rounds in some media outlets, it is necessary to state categorically that the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babatunde Fowler, is not under any investigation.

The letter from the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, on which the purported rumour of an investigation is based, merely raises concerns over the negative run of the tax revenue collection in recent times.

Taking a cue from today’s (Monday) presentation of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo   at the Presidential Retreat for Ministers-Designate, Federal Permanent Secretaries and Top Government Functionaries , which dwelt on an  ‘Overview of the Policies , Programmes and Project Audit Committee,’ a body he chaired,  projected revenue of government  falls behind recurrent expenditure even without having factored in capital expenditure.

Consequently, it would appear that the country might be heading for a fiscal crisis if urgent steps are not taken to halt the negative trends in target setting and target realisation in tax revenue.

Anyone conversant with Federal Executive Council deliberations would have observed that issues bordering on revenue form the number one concern of what Nigeria faces today, and therefore, often take a prime place in discussions of the body.

It is noteworthy and highly commendable that under this administration, the number of taxable adults has increased from 10 million to 20 million with concerted efforts still on-going to bring a lot more into the tax net.

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