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FIRS Chair, Babatunde Fowler, not under investigation – Presidency

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FIRS Chair, Babatunde Fowler, not under investigation – Presidency

The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babatunde Fowler, is not under any investigation, the presidency said on Monday.

Some reports claimed that the query meant that Fowler’s tenure would not be renewed. His first term expired on Saturday.

In a statement on its verified Twitter handle, the Presidency dismissed stories of the alleged probe.

The statement read,

“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.”

See Abba Kyari letter that spurred the rumours:

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