The aphorism that there is no hiding place for the golden fish was practically manifested last week when the Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Mamman Nami deservedly bagged double awards from reputable organisations. The nation’s number one tax collector at separate events was named winner of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Merit Award and the winner of the BusinessDay Excellence in Public Service Award.
Since his assumption of office as the Executive Chairman of the FIRS in 2019, Mr Muhammad Nami has been going about his duty with uncommon zest, focus and vigour. Within the relatively little years of his stewardship as the helmsman of the nation’s biggest tax agency, he has raised the bar of leadership at FIRS by posting many remarkable strides in office.
The FIRS Executive Chairman’s latest meritorious garland was bestowed on him at the 2023 annual awards of ICAN which took place at the Monarch Event Centre, Lagos, on Saturday 6 May, 2023. Muhammad Nami who was honoured in the non-members category at the event, was described by the President of ICAN, Mr Tijani Musa Isa, as a self-effacing and humble achiever who has steered the FIRS to excel in the national and international tax circle despite global economic downturns.
While eulogising the nation’s number one tax chief for achieving several milestones in revenue collection, the ICAN President said the Merit Award is in recognition of Muhammad Nami’s positive impact in the society stressing that he has made significant contribution to the institute and to Nigeria. “The governing board deemed it fit to acknowledge the role you (Nami) have played and your outstanding achievements,” Isa emphasised.
Muhammad Nami’s virtues as a leader imbued with exemplary and rare professional moral fibre were further captured in the citation read at the ICAN event, in which he was aptly described as “a go-getter and an ingenious leader.”
The impactful reforms which he is implementing at FIRS did not escape the attention of the Institute as they were acknowledged as eloquent attestations to his dexterity, visionary leadership and patriotism. The citation took cognitive note of the fact that under his visionary leadership, the FIRS in 2022 achieved an unprecedented revenue collection of N10.1 trillion, the highest tax collection ever made in the annals of the country.
At a similar event two days earlier in the same week, the FIRS boss was named the winner of the BusinessDay Excellence in Public Service Award 2022. The event took place on Thursday 4 May, 2023 at the BusinessDay States Competitiveness and Good Governance Awards.
BusinessDay Newspaper explained that it named him the winner of the award for his “visionary and leadership qualities [that] have brought tremendous change to the FIRS.”
It underscored Muhammad Nami’s landmark achievements by transforming the tax administration and compliance landscape in Nigeria. Prominent on the checklist of his strides in the transformative aspect is the introduction of the revolutionary TaxPro Max which is FIRS’ home-grown digital platform for tax administration. The hugely successful digital platform allows taxpayers to register, file returns and pay their taxes easily from any location other than their respective tax offices. TaxPro Max has proved an effective antidote of the delays and frustrations usually associated with the labyrinthine wholly manual process of the past that often lent itself to leakages, delays and frustrations.
BusinessDay commended Muhammad Nami for repositioning the operations and staff of the FIRS, as well as introducing technological tools to institute more transparency, accountability, and effectiveness, which in turn has translated into increased capacity to deliver on the mandate with outstanding results.
The Executive Chairman’s response after receiving the ICAN Merit Award captured his professional trajectory from a humble beginning through the rungs to the higher rungs of professional excellence. He summed his professional odyssey this way: ”Since I left the university, over 32 years ago, I have had the privilege and luck to be directly and indirectly associated with ICAN members: from the PKF, to Manam Professional Services, and now I am working directly with well over 3,000 members of this Institute as the Executive Chairman of the FIRS.”
He went on to dedicate the award to his alma maters (from primary to tertiary levels), his former colleagues at the Presidential Committee on Audit of Stolen Recovered Stolen Assets, members of the Tax Advisory Committee of the FIRS, all taxpayers, FIRS board members, management and staff of the FIRS plus his family members.
A rundown of Muhammad Nami’s rich profile reveals a man who is properly trained and horned in the fields of tax, accounting and management. He is a thoroughbred professional with highly rated qualifications and practicing licenses from relevant professional bodies.
An accountant, management professional, tax administrator and public officer, Muhammad Nami has more than three decades of practical working experience in auditing, tax management and advisory as well as management services to clients in the banking, manufacturing services and public sectors in addition to non- profit organisations.
He is an expert in rendering advisory support services to investors in respect of new businesses. He has also continuously rendered outsourced services to clients in both trading, service and manufacturing sectors of the nation’s economy.
A fellow of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria and Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, the FIRS boss is also an Associate Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered) and Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) as well as a graduate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
Like the great oak that grew from little acorns, Muhammad Nami started his career with PKF in 1993 and rose to the position of a senior consultant in charge of tax management and advisory services. From October, 2018 to December, 2019, he also served as the Managing Consultant of Manam Professional Services, a Chartered Tax Practitioners and Advisers firm that had offices in Kaduna, Abuja and Minna.
He is the current President of the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA). He is the Chairman of the Joint Tax Board (JTB), a statutory position he holds as the Executive Chairman of the FIRS. He is the immediate past Chairman of the African Tax Administrators Forum (ATAF). These roles have invariably conferred on him the need to contribute to the growth and development of Nigeria, Africa and the commonwealth nations.
As a proactive and innovative leader, he has since proved bookmakers right that he is more than equal to the task. The reforms he is implementing at FIRS attest to his dexterity, visionary leadership and patriotism. Under his visionary leadership, the FIRS in 2022 achieved an unprecedented revenue collection of N10.1 trillion, which is the highest tax collection ever made in the history of the country.
Recently, he earned accolades for audacious deployment of technology as well as the introduction of unprecedented reforms in Nigeria’s tax administration including data mining and strategic intelligence gathering for improved revenue generation.
His sterling leadership and impressive scorecard have earned him and the FIRS several other awards. For instance, in October 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari conferred on him the Excellence in Public Service Award for Fiscal reforms at the FIRS while he also received the Leadership Newspaper Public Servant of the Year Award for 2022.
Muhammad Nami’s exemplary leadership style has greatly helped to galvanise and motivate the management and entire workforce of the FIRS to be disciplined and amenable to basic etiquette of the Service.
The fact that he is a man driven by ideas and positive results is attested to by the regular on-the-job trainings and brainstorming sessions he organises at the FIRS. He is a modern era leader that is never weary of updating and introducing result-yielding innovative ideas and techniques.
Among other contributory factors to the astounding success of Muhammad Nami at the FIRS are his humble and honest attributes. Beneath the veneer of his gentle mien is the steely quality of a leader who does not compromise integrity and value in the discharge of duty. Certainly, the FIRS under the clear-headed, confident and chivalrous leadership of Muhammad Nami is primed for more plumage of honours and awards in future.
By Nkem Precious Esq
Nkem Precious is an Abuja based lawyer
Dangote Refinery to start production by October and November 2023
The Dangote Refinery is gearing up to commence refining operations, with plans to produce diesel and jet fuel by October 2023 and petrol by November 30, 2023, according to the Executive Director of the Dangote Group, Devakumar Edwin.
According to reports, Edwin in an interview with newsmen disclosed that the refinery is on track to receive its first crude cargo within two weeks.
Initially, the facility is set to produce up to 370,000 barrels per day of diesel and jet fuel in October 2023.
Furthermore, Edwin outlined the refinery’s strategy for gradually increasing petrol production, to reach an impressive 650,000 barrels per day by November 30.
He expressed the refinery’s readiness to receive crude oil:
- “Right now, I’m ready to receive crude. We are just waiting for the first vessel. And so, as soon as it comes in, we can start.”
Regarding the shift in the original timeline, Edwin explained that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) had already committed their crude oil to another entity on a forward basis, causing a temporary delay.
He assured that this setback is momentary, and the refinery will exclusively use Nigerian crude oil from November 2023 onwards.
Edwin highlighted that the Nigerian oil will be purchased in US dollars, not in naira, as the refinery operates within a free trade zone on the outskirts of Lagos. However, due to its equity stake, the NNPCL will supply some crude at discounted prices.
The Dangote refinery is equipped to process various crudes, including most African grades, Middle Eastern Arab Light, and even US light-tight oil.
- “We can take even some of the Russian grades… if the global system opens up to allow us to receive them. If you look at our production profile, 50% of my production will meet 100% of the requirements of the country.”
Excess gasoline, meeting 10 ppm sulfur Euro 5 quality, will be exported to other African markets, the US, and South America, albeit in relatively small volumes.
Jet fuel will be exported to Europe, while diesel will be sold in sub-Saharan Africa.
Edwin emphasized that the refinery would benefit Nigeria significantly, providing a reliable supply of environmentally friendly refined products and generating substantial foreign exchange for the country.
Furthermore, he noted that the Dangote refinery will play a pivotal role in addressing fuel supply challenges faced by import-dependent West Africa, particularly following Nigeria’s removal of fuel subsidies, which had resulted in a thriving illicit gasoline market due to price fluctuations.
Edwin added that the revenues generated from the refinery’s operations will be reinvested in further developments, underscoring Aliko Dangote’s commitment to Nigeria.
- “The money will be coming back in, and it will go for further investments,” he affirmed, highlighting Dangote’s dedication to the nation.
G20: Tony Elumelu Co-Chairs Business Council in India with President Tinubu
Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings and CFR, will co-chair the G20 Business Council in India, joining President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the Nigeria-India Presidential roundtable during the G20 summit in New Delhi.
This collaborative event, organized by the Nigerian High Commission in India, CII, and NIBC, highlights President Tinubu’s address.
The G20 Business Council, also known as the Business 20 (B20), serves as the official G20 dialogue forum with the global business community.
Established in 2010, the B20 is one of the most prominent Engagement Groups within the G20 framework, bringing together companies and business organizations to provide their perspectives on global economic and trade governance.
It speaks with a unified voice on behalf of the entire G20 business community.
One of the key objectives of the B20 is to promote economic integration in Africa. As stated on the B20 India website, the B20 aims to “offer extensive support to make this process a success and work towards African economic development.”
This agenda is expected to benefit not only nations within Africa but also have broader implications for global economic growth and cooperation.
The G20, comprised of the world’s largest and most advanced economies, is the foremost platform for international economic cooperation. Nigeria’s President, President Tinubu, was extended a special invitation by India, the current G20 host, earlier in the year, underscoring the nation’s role in shaping global economic discourse and collaboration.
Tinubu appoints Khalil Halilu as EVC/CEO of NASENI
President Tinubu has appointed Khalil Suleiman Halilu to be the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).
Mr. Halilu’s appointment as Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer was confirmed by the Presidency on Friday, 1 September, according to the statement released by Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser to President Tinubu on Media and Publicity.
As EVC/CEO of NASENI, Mr Halilu is expected to bring his significant experience as an innovator and technology expert to bear in this important new national assignment.
The newly appointed Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of NASENI who is 32 years old will serve an initial term of five years as specified by relevant sections of the NASENI Act, 2014, the statement revealed.
Mr. Halilu’s appointment hereby terminates the tenure of Dr. Bashir Gwandu as EVC/CEO of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).
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