The immediate past chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Tunde Fowler has been told that he stepped on toes during his time as the FIRS boss.
This was said by the Acting Executive Chairman, of the FIRS, Abiodun Aina, on Monday, during the handover ceremony at the service headquarters in Abuja.
It will be recalled as earlier reported by Naija News that President Muhammadu Buhari didn’t renew Fowler’s term as the FIRS boss and has also nominated Muhammad M. Nami to take over as the new FIRS chairman, subject to the National Assembly approval.
Fowler’s tenure expired on Monday, 9th December, 2019.
While speaking during the handover ceremony on Monday, Aina commended Fowler for transforming the FIRS through many brilliant policies during his term in office.
Aina said: “Thank you very much Mr, Chairman, my boss, my brother, and my good friend Sir. As you hand over to me I say what am I running? To have fought a good fight. You laid a very solid foundation
“Within the intervening period that I will be holding fort, I promise you to steady the ship, by the grace of God. You have done a lot within the space of four years. You have transformed FIRS. You have modernised it. There has been a lot of innovations and under you, we have achieved great heights.
Aina further highlighted giant strides and achievements recorded by Fowler during his term in office.
“When we look back in 2015, the section was about N3. 3 trillion. At the end of 2018, with your leadership, we were able to move to N5. 32 Trillion. That was the highest collection ever, in the annals FIRS. You brought dynamism to FIRS.
“You introduced so many programmes that repositioned FIRS: Tax Amnesty Programme implemented VAIDS, increased the number of taxpayers nationwide to over 20 million in a space of four years, began placing lien on the account of taxpayers to ensure that each capable corporate taxpayers pay his/her dues, fostered collaboration amongst the states through the Joint Tax Board, began robust information sharing amongst states, launched the JTB TIN so that states might have access to data for tax purposes, deepened FIRS’ embrace of technology for tax purposes and many more”.
According to Aina, in a bid to actualize the mandates of his office, Fowler might have stepped on toes. He, however, promised to ensure the FIRS continues to meet expectations.
“But like you also mentioned in your speech, change is usually resisted. And so you stepped on toes. That is normal. Leadership is not a popularity contest. And I’m sure you know that very well. And that was why you were focused on carrying out the mandate that was given to you. I can tell you on behalf of my colleagues here that we will miss you. You have left a very big shoe behind. We will do all we can to ensure that we will keep the flag flying.
“Thank you very much for what you have done for us.”