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Fowler not under investigation – Presidency

Babatunde Fowler, FIRS Chairman
Babatunde Fowler, FIRS Chairman .

The presidency yesterday said the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Babatunde Fowler was not under any investigation.

A presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, in a statement, said the letter from the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, on which the purported rumour of an investigation was based, merely raises concerns over the negative run of the tax revenue collection in recent times.

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The statement reads: “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 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.”

The presidency had in the query issued to Fowler decried the drop in revenue generation compared to before 2015.

 

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