President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday asked the Senate to confirm newly-appointed Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) chairman Muhammad Nami. The president, in a letter dated December 9, also sought the approval of the upper legislative chamber for the appointments of 13 others as members of the FIRS board.
Members of the board are James Ayuba (North Central); Ado Danjuma (North West), Adam Mohammed (North East), Ikeme Osakwe (South East), Adewale Ogunyomade (South West), Ehile Aibangbee (South South). Also, members of the board appointed from the ministries agencies and departments of the federal government are Ladidi Mohammed from the office of Nigeria’s attorney general and Central Bank of Nigeria governor Godwin Emefiele.
Others are Fatima Hayatu (Ministry of Finance); Maagbe Adaa (Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission); and Umar Ajiya (Nigerian National Petroleum Commission), DCG T. M. Isah (Nigeria Customs Service) and the Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission.
Buhari asked Senate President, Ahmad Lawan to ensure speedy consideration of his request. The president on Monday appointed Nami after former FIRS chairman Babatunde Fowler’s tenure ended. But sources told Huhuonline.com that on the same day he was sacked, Fowler had written to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha seeking renewal of his four year appointment; hours before he was replaced.
In a leaked letter to Mustapha, dated December 9, 2019, Fowler wrote to present himself for reappointment for a second term in line with the provisions of the FIRS Establishment Act 2007. The letter, a copy which was sighted by Huhuonline.com was titled: Re: Notification of Expiration of Tenure as Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service.
“I write to notify the Secretary to the Government of the Federation that my first tenure as the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) ends today 9th December, 2019. In view of the above, I wish to present myself for a second term. This is consistent with the provisions of the FIRS Establishment Act 2007 and would grant me the opportunity to consolidate and build on the achievements we have recorded in the past 4 years. Please find attached the highlight of my achievements during my first tenure in office,” Fowler wrote to the SGF.
He concluded the letter saying: ”I would like to put on record my gratitude to Mr President for the opportunity to serve the Nation. I am also thankful for your support in the course of the discharge of my duties”. Hours after the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) acknowledged receipt of the letter; the Presidency announced the appointment of Fowler’s successor, Nami; 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.
On the same day, Fowler was made to hand over to the Coordinating Director, Domestic Taxes Group, Abiodun Aina, the most senior management staff of FIRS as required by law.