A memo, purportedly written from the office of the Chief of Staff to the President Abba Kyari to the Chairman of the FIRS, Babatunde Fowler circulated around social media on Sunday.
The Leak: The letter queried the FIRS head whose tenure is up about why he consistently failed to hit budget and why his tax receipts over the last four years were lower than that of the previous administration.
The chief of staff queried Fowler demanding for a variance analysis him explaining the reason for the variances between the budgeted and actual revenues.
Nairametrics cannot verify the authenticity of the letter or its Original source.
Why it matters: The Executive Chairman Tunde Fowler whose tenure has reportedly ended was expected to return for a second term. However, this letter suggests he may not get it as the vultures are circling in.
- The query is also somewhat rudimentary as the reason for lower taxes over the last 5 years is obviously due to the recession.
- The economy suffered through a recession in 2016 and has remained stuck in a GDP Growth rate of under 2%.
- Suffice to add that various government policy on forex, an increase in import duty has also significantly hurt trade making it even more difficult to increase tax revenues.
- The Executive Chairman has interestingly been in the media of late highlighting how well he has done with tax collection.
- Fowler also stated earlier in the year that the FIRS collected about N5.3 trillion in taxes in 2018 with non-oil taxes making up about 47% the highest in recent years.
Lobbying game: This letter is dated August 8, 2019, and it’s likely leaked because his tenure has ended and there is no indication that he will be retained. Fowler is reportedly a close ally of APC leader and Kingmaker, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.