Many Nigerians have been reacting on Twitter following the news, yesterday, that President Muhammadu Buhari decided against reappointing Babatunde Fowler as the Executive Chairman of Nigeria’s tax body, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
As Nairametrics reported, Fowler’s first term in office was completed recently following his appointment in 2015. Although many were expecting that he would be reappointed, the job was given to someone else (Muhammad Nami) instead.
Did Fowler beg to be reappointed?
Now, what makes the situation even more dramatic is that prior to this time, Babatunde Fowler reportedly wrote the Presidency to enquire about the possibility of having his tenure extended. A leaked memo to this effect has since been circulated online, and this has got Nigerians talking.
Tunde Fowler beg the cabal for 2nd term, the cabal rejected then leaked the letter. 😂
Magu has the green light to widen the investigation in #FIRS
Grab your popcorn… 🍿🍿 pic.twitter.com/nS61Y3J5X9
— Adetutu Balogun (@Tutsy22) December 10, 2019
Outrage over Fowler’s replacement
The debate on Twitter has mostly centred on why Babatunde Fowler’s appointment was not renewed. Those in support of his reappointment bid argued that he performed exceptionally during his first tenure and deserved to be reappointed. Olushola Olufolabi was particularly upset about Fowler being replaced by a lesser qualified professional.
I feel so ashamed of your replacement. How could such ever happen!? Replaced by a nonentity….15yrs ABU graduate!
In all of Buhari's cabinet none is as qualified as Babatunde Fowler …. I cry for Nigeria 😢 😢 https://t.co/rRw7MoDLcm pic.twitter.com/hINy50tzlw
— Olushola Olufolabi (@olushola_shola) December 9, 2019
This is the same sentiment Young Otutu expressed when he wrote the following:
The sad thing about FIRS Boss sack, Tunde Fowler, sack is the low quality of his replacee;
an unknown "renowned" Tax consultant, Muhammad Nami, whose cv is below par.
A black monday for Tinubu & his fans.
— Young Otutu (@YoungOtutu) December 9, 2019
Other people were quick to observe that many of the DGs and CEOs in many government agencies have recently had their appointments renewed by President Muhammadu Buhari. So, why wasn’t Fowler’s appointment renewed?
Most CEOs under Buhari normally get 2nd term but egbekegbe will tell us Fowler's tenure finish that was why.
Yes his tenure finish but why is he not given renewal ? Is either he underperformed or not in the good books of power that be
— Hamma (@HAHayatu) December 9, 2019
But to some, this is a welcome development
Many people are truly just as happy over Babatunde Fowler’s departure as FIRS’s Executive Chairman. One Twitter user actually wrote that Fowler is incompetent and that President Buhari must have seen that and decided not to renew his appointment.
Fowler was incompetent, He was the one responsible for imposing all manner of funny taxes on Nigerians. Baba saw his incompetence and refused to renew his appointment. Was it not Baba that renewed and reappointed Godwin Emefiele? Take your stupid narrative to the gutters pls.
— Major General Eminently Qualified (@ihe69) December 10, 2019
Another person alleged that Fowler even “destroyed” a working system he met on ground and then used propaganda to make himself look competent. This Twitter user, who was identified simply as Boye, went further to allege that the former FIRS boss abused the powers of his office.
Leave 2023 aside, Fowler destroyed a working system he met in that organization. All those performance, were a media propaganda. He's a bad manager. Abuse of office, disobedience to laid down rules, illegal recruitments, diversion of funds, highhandedness, impunity etc
— Daks (@DIVINEBOYE) December 10, 2019
There is even a short clip on Twitter that shows FIRS staff reportedly “mocking” Babatunde Fowler as he departed his former place of work in a convoy.
JUST IN: FIRS staff mocking Tunde Fowler as he leaves office pic.twitter.com/Tiu7zqbfLP
— Lere Olayinka – Aresa 1 (@OlayinkaLere) December 10, 2019
Royal Academy of Engineering invests over £3.5 million in Nigeria, others
The academy has awarded over £3.5 million in 37 projects in Nigeria and across 13 African countries.
The Royal Academy of Engineering has awarded over £3.5 million to 37 projects in Nigeria and across 13 African countries to promote better training and sustainability and diversify economies.
This was disclosed by the Academy via a statement issued and seen by Nairametrics on Thursday to mark the UNESCO World Engineering Day 2021.
It stated that the Academy’s interest in partnering with partner academic institutions’ projects focused on realizing sustainable development goals.
One of such projects, according to the statement, is the renewable energy project recently embarked on by Engineering students in the University of Abuja, Nigeria.
It stated, “A new awardee of the HEPSSA programme, the University of Abuja, in a project titled “Renewable energy utilization: Accelerating diffusion of solar power systems”, seeks to address the problem of access to affordable and clean energy with a view to enable accelerated diffusion solar power systems.”
Commenting on the progress achieved in Africa, Nigerian born Engineer in the UK, Yewande Akinola MBE, who is also a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering GCRF Africa Catalyst Committee, said:
“While we see immediate improvements in skills and innovation through these programmes, the real win is establishing a framework for lasting change. This will equip communities in Africa to anticipate and plan for the challenges posed by climate change, urbanisation and economic development. The continent is transforming rapidly, and those engineering its future need the skills to think on their feet.”
Stressing the need for strategic partnerships and buy-in of stakeholders, she said, “By developing strong alliances between local partners in sub-Saharan Africa and the UK, we can enable learning, collaboration and sharing of best practice, which in turn will build skills to boost innovation. But there is much more to be done, which needs the continued support of investors and partners.”
She added that the Academy aimed to support the development of a diverse and future fit workforce across the continent.
“It is estimated that fewer than 10% of engineering posts in Africa are currently occupied by women. GCRF Africa Catalyst has worked with Women in Engineering (WomEng) to promote gender diversity across a wide spectrum of professional experience.
“WomEng’s work with Eswatini’s Registration Council for Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Allied Professionals has resulted in seven registered female members where they initially had none. A HEP SSA project with the Institute of Engineers Rwanda also helped to increase the number of female internship applicants from 5% to 2018 to 25% in 2019,” she said.
Highlights of achievements of the Africa grants:
- Over 2000 professionals trained by Professional Engineering Institutions across sub-Saharan Africa.
- Over 530 student industry placements since 2013. Number of students obtaining industry internships increased from 40% to 90% over the course of one project in Zambia
- Diversity & Inclusion initiatives have driven equal gender participation in programmes. A project from the Institute of Engineers Rwanda helped to increase the number of female internship applicants from 5% in 2018 to 25% in 2019.
- 50 individual course curricula reviewed and improved as a result of industry-academia partnerships.
- Almost 50 UK organisations and 400 in-country bodies involved as project partners so far.
What you should know
- Launched in 2016, with support from the UK government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), the Africa Catalyst initiative allows Engineers to focus on issues of specific importance to their relevant jurisdictions while facilitating good governance practices.
- The Royal Academy of Engineering is showcasing its impact on enhancing collaboration, education, and diversity in engineering in sub-Saharan Africa, delivered through its Africa grants programmes ahead of the second UNESCO World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development on the 4th of March 2021.
Veteran broadcaster, actor, Sadiq Daba is dead
Daba died on Wednesday evening after losing a battle to leukaemia and prostate cancer.
Veteran broadcaster and actor, Sadiq Daba, died on Wednesday evening after losing a battle to leukaemia and prostate cancer.
His death was confirmed by filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan, with whom he recently worked with on the 2020 motion picture, Citation.
Afolayan, who said that the ace broadcaster died on the evening of Wednesday, March 3rd, said he spoke with his wife and son who confirmed his passing to him.
Many Nigerians, including billionaire Femi Otedola, had donated money for his treatment abroad and showed massive support on social media.
Daba made waves in the 1980s on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
He has featured in several TV series and movies, with “Cock Crow at Dawn” and “October 1st” as notable mentions.
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