Journalism of Courage

Presidency Query Into Fowler’s Variances’ in Tax Revenue May Halt Re-appointment

Some close to the Presidency believe that Babatunde Fowler, the executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) may soon be ousted as the tax chief by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The latest speculation  around Fowler’s potential dismissal comes just days after his tenure expired.

In a letter gone viral, dated August 8, 2019, Abba Kyari, chief of staff to the president,  gave the nation’s tax chief up till August 19 to respond to a query over revenue collection under his watch.



In the query, above , the chief of staff wrote: “Your attached letter (FIRS/EC/CWP/0249/19/027 dated 26 July 2019) on the above subject matter, refers.

“We observed significant variances between the budgeted collections and actual collections for the period 2015 to 2018. Accordingly, you are kindly invited to submit a comprehensive variance analysis explaining the reasons for the variances between budgeted and actual collections for each main tax item for each of the years 2015 to 2018.

“Furthermore, we observed that the actual collections for the period 2015 to 2017 were significantly worse than what was collected between 2012 and 2014. Accordingly, you are kindly to explain the reasons for the poor collections.

“You are kindly invited to respond by 19 August 2019.

A former minister in the Buhari administration, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Per Second News, ” There is a growing sense in the administration that Fowler’s days are numbered.”

This is not the first time questions have been raised over Fowler’s future in the administration with the FIRS boss accused of several financial abuse and alleged corruption charges.


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