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New FIRS boss assumes duties, pledges to boost tax revenue


William-Babatunde-FowlerThe Acting Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service ( FIRS ), Babatunde Fowler, has assumed duties at the Revenue House headquarters of the organsation, in Abuja, with a pledge to shore up tax revenue from its current level to an enviable height.

The agency, last year raked in N4.69 trillion into the Federation account, down from the N4. 805 trillion it recorded the in 2013. The new tax agency boss, who made the pledge while taking over from his predecessor, Samuel Sunday Ogungbesan who has been at the helm of affairs at the tax agency in acting capacity for more than six months, also pledged to undertake his newly assigned role in partnership with the relevant stakeholders so as to improve on the country’s tax administration.

A statement by Ms. NnekaIfekwuna of the Corporate Communications quoted the new tax agency boss as explaining that the desire to shore up the nation’s tax revenue was predicated on the resolve of the Presidency to ensure maximum increase in tax revenue as the era of absolute dependency on oil proceeds was over.

Fowler, who is former Chairman of the Lagos State Board of Internal Revenue said that the FIRS must take the lead in the tax revenue collection and must be ready to share information and ideas with the States Board of Internal Revenue (SBIR) in order to take tax administration in the country to another level.

He said: “My vision and mission is neither to alter the existing management organogram structure in FIRS nor lay-off management staff from their duty posts, but to take FIRS as well as the nation’s tax system to an enviable height. “This we cannot achieve all alone without a robust partnership and collaboration of all stakeholders within and outside the system.

We must build a synergy for a healthy exchange of information between FIRS and SBIRS “This synergy will produce the best form of revenue generation in the FIRS and the states in general as well as ensuring that over dependency on oil revenue becomes a thing of the past,” Fowler explained.

He said that the antidote to the economic mire was for the Service to raise revenue accruing from tax collection to “records high” so that government programme would be well funded.

Earlier, the out- going former Acting Chairman of the FIRS, Samuel Sunday Ogungbesan solicited for more cooperation as FIRS share a similar vision with Fowler saying, the Chairman needs the support of all staff to succeed in the business of raising revenue and we must not loss sight to satisfy the government.’’

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