Teeth For Tat! FIRS Boss, Fowler Counters Kyari’s Claim, Replies Presidency’s Query

Abuja (Precise Post) – Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, today replied the query issued him by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, over “the negative run of the tax revenue collection”.

Fowler in his response, a copy of which was made available to newsmen, countered Kyari’s claims in his query.

Fowler contended that the nation’s tax revenue had gone up significantly during the period cited in the August 8 query, contrary to Kyari’s claims that it had gone down.

See a copy of Fowler’s letter:

Meanwhile, the Presidency in a Twitter post on its verified handle, @NGRPresident, today had refuted media reports that Fowler was under investigation.

It noted that the letter sent to Fowler by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, only queried “the negative run of the tax revenue collection in recent times”.

It stated: “Following reports making the rounds in some media outlets, it is necessary to state categorically that the Chair of 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 (FEC) 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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