EXCELLENCE IN FISCAL REFORMS: PRESIDENT BUHARI CONFERS PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD TO FIRS BOSS, MUHAMMAD NAMI
For his exemplary leadership in public service, President Muhammad Buhari on Friday conferred the Excellence in Public Service Award to the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami, as well as 43 others, including former President Goodluck Jonathan, President of the Senate, Distinguished Senator Ahmed Lawan, Honorable Minister of Works and Housing, Babajide Raji Fashola, SAN, among other awardees.
Mr. Nami was given the Excellence Award in Public Service for “Fiscal Reforms” during the Maiden Nigeria Excellence Award in Public Service at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.
The Award was presented to Mr. Nami by the President in recognition of his efforts at shoring up revenue for the country, by introducing unprecedented institutional, modernisation and technological reforms that have seen the FIRS transform into the nation’s foremost cashcow.
Within his three years in office, Muhammad Nami is renowned to have transformed and repositioned the apex revenue body to ensure efficiency in revenue collection leading to the collection of an unprecedented sum of N6.4 Trillion by the FIRS in 2021; the highest ever collected by the Service.
In his remarks, President Buhari noted that these awards were a validation of the work done by the recipients and a motivation to continue to do more.
The President noted that the Nigeria Excellence in Public Service Award put together by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in partnership with The Best Strategic Media is an award that recognises and rewards service delivery.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, noted that the awards were scorecards of different offices at various levels.
“This is an award that recognises and rewards excellence. It is for the development of public service and the nation at large. Recipients have been carefully selected from both public and private sectors. Nigeria is our nation and we must stand up to protect and defend it”, Boss Mustapha said.
Speaking on behalf of the recipients, former President Goodluck Jonathan, who received an award for Peace Building said it was gratifying that people were recognised based on their service to the nation. He thanked the organisers of the award for their commitment to national growth and development.
“I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for coming to make the presentation of the award himself. It shows his commitment to excellence in public service. On behalf of the 44 of us, I assure you that we will continue to do our best for the society”, former President Jonathan said.
In an appreciation message, Mr. Muhammad Nami thanked the President for the opportunity to serve, while dedicating the Award to the Board, Management and Staff of the FIRS, taxpayers, his family, friends and relatives, among others.
He called on Nigerians to continue to trust the government to deliver good governance while asking that they honour their tax obligations to provide government the resources to build the nation of their dreams.
“I call on all Nigerians to continue to trust the government to deliver good governance to them; to continue to honor their obligations to our country by paying their taxes and building the nation of their dreams in so doing.
“I reiterate that all over the world, it is citizens that build their civilizations through the taxes they pay,” he noted.
The Nigeria Excellence Award in Public Service recognises public officers who have excelled in their duty, transformed their offices and institutions, developed other leaders, and shown good character, innovation and excellence in the delivery of their service, among others.
Johannes Oluwatobi Wojuola
Special Assistant to the Executive Chairman, FIRS
(Media & Communication)
October 21, 2022
“Nigeria College of Taxation and Fiscal Studies” Bill Passes Second Reading
A bill for an Act to establish the Nigeria College of Taxation and Fiscal Studies passed its Second Reading last week at the Senate.
The presentation of the Bill was made by Senator Abdullahi Aliyu Sabi CON on the floor of the Senate Tuesday last week, where he noted that the institution, if established would provide professional and academic training as well as certification for tax administrators, tax practitioners and tax professionals across the country.
In his presentation, Senator Sabi, who represents Niger North Senatorial District of Niger State stated that the College had become necessary given the important role that taxation is playing in the nation’s economy, and that this institution would help formulate and draft tax policy for the country while addressing human capital gaps in the country’s tax industry.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that diversifying the sources of government revenue to focus on sustainable sources is inevitable. This diversification puts taxation at the centre of the revenue mobilization discussion; the attainment of this laudable objective would require tax experts who have been properly and adequately schooled to formulate tax policy, draft and interpret tax legislation, carry on private tax practice, and administer taxation in the modern era.
“In view of the constant shift in the social, technological and business environment, with direct impact on the tax system, it is is important to have skills, competence, and adaptable personnel to man the tax system. There must be a conscious development of the field of taxation and fiscal policies in Nigeria to awake the society on the importance of taxation as a sine qua non to our development.
“Nigeria must go beyond the mere inclusion of taxation in the curriculum of educational institutions; instead the country must establish a modern system that facilitates the study of taxation via a well laid out academic curriculum, guided and focused by practical realities of Nigerian taxation and the revenue ecosystem,” he noted.
Senator Sabi further emphasised that the College would help in tackling the issue of lack of sufficient capacity of tax officers, which he noted has led to “the delegation of powers of revenue authorities to third parties, creating complications, multiplicity and uncertainty in the tax system,” and that it would correct “aggressive and orthodox methods for tax collection” while also carrying out a “regular review of obsolete tax laws that do not reflect modern realities.”
He noted that all these would help the country address its fiscal and revenue challenges and achieve the objectives of the National Tax Policy.
In his presentation, the distinguished Senator representing Niger North also cited that countries such as Kenya, Japan, India, Australia, Austria, Singapore, and Malaysia have established similar institutions for developing capacity in taxation, excise duty and customs and fiscal matters, and that this has impacted positively on their economy through significantly high tax-to-GDP ratios.
This College is expected to provide training for tax officials, including officers of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Customs, sub-national revenue authorities, and even the general public. It is to consist of a main campus and 12 regional centres.
The Bill proposes that the College would be funded chiefly by the extant yearly subvention of the FIRS for training thus requiring no direct impact on government spending.
Senator Adamu Aliero representing Kebbi Central District, Kebbi State, commenting on the Bill noted that the only sustainable source of revenue for the Federation was taxation, and that the proposed College would train tax officials who would be instrumental to widening the country’s tax net.
He also added that there is currently no institution in Nigeria that offers specialised training in taxation.
NLC, CBN meet in Abuja over Cash scarcity
In less than 24 hours after the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, directed all its branches and affiliate unions to mobilize members for a shut down of all the branches of the Central Bank of Nigerian, CBN, across the country, over cash scarcity, the apex bank on Thursday evening met with the NLC at the Labour House Abuja.
Recall that the Comrade Joe Ajaero-led NLC, had on Wednesday while addressing journalists said that activities in all branches of the CBN nationwide and the Abuja headquarters will be shut down on Wednesday next due to the cash crunch in the country.
Comrade Ajaero had advised workers to stockpile food items as the industrial dispute with the CBN will be total.
He said Nigerians have been subjected to untold hardship occasioned by the scarcity of naira notes to attend to medical needs and other areas of need.
Vanguard gathered that the NLC threat to paralyze activities at the CBN necessitated the impromptu meeting which started at about 5 pm on Thursday.
The two man delegation made up of the CBN Deputy Gpvrrnor in charge of operations and the Deputy Governor in charge of Economic Pokicy, told the NLC President that about two billion naira was pushed out on Thursdsy in a bid to address the hardship.
A source privy to the meeting told Vanguard that the CBN promised to ensure that the scarcity of naira notes will come to an end as quickly as possible.
“They said the money they pushed out today is equivalent to the whole money pushed out within the week. They also promised to work day and night starting from this night to ensure that there is enough money in the banks,” the source said.
He further said that the CBN denied the allegation that it was printing money out of the country and that the Governor, Godwin Emefiele has directed that the old naira notes should be made available to customers.
Besides, the source denied the allegation that the old naira notes have been burnt, assuring that there will be remarkable improvement in few days to come.
It was gathered that the NLC President, Comrade Ajaero told the CBN delegation that he was not interested in how much that was pushed out, but only interested in seeing that workers and other Nigerians collect their money in banks without stress..
“The President told them that it does not bother us how much they pushed out, our concern is to see that this hardship comes to a stop.
“He also told them that they should work day and night to solve the problem and will depend on the feedback from the average Nigerians who go to the banks to make withdrawals whether there is improvement before Wednesday next week NLC planned to picket the apex bank ,” the source said.
When contacted, the NLC President, Comrade Ajaero, confirmed the meeting and said that the interest of the leadership is to see that Nigerians are able to withdraw their money devoid of the hardship they are passing through.
“We will only know that they are serious when we see improvement,” he added.
EFCC Arraigns FCMB Manager Over N55Million Overdraft Fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned one Kichime Gomwalk, a bank manager and two others for alleged fraud.
Gomwalk of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Michael Damkas Buayam of Tan Global Energy Limited, and Abbas Andrew Dayilim of Castlegate International Limited were arraigned on Tuesday before Justice P. S. Gang of the Plateau State High Court Jos.
The accused persons were arraigned on five counts bordering on stealing, cheating and obtaining by false pretence money to the tune of N55,000.000.00 (fifty-five million naira).
Gomwalk, while serving as the manager of the bank’s branch at Murtala Mohammed Way in Jos, the Plateau State capital, was alleged to have forged COCIN Gratuity Certificate of Pledge/Letter of Set-Off dated December 30, 2019, purportedly co-signed by Mrs. Monica Bitrus Tang and Rev (Dr.) Amos Musa Mohzo, Directors.
It was allegedly used to secure an overdraft facility from FCMB Plc to the tune of N55 million with COCIN Gratuity account number 100GOMWALK379 domiciled with FCMB Plc.
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