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Following Muhammad Nami’s assumption of office as the new Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has enumerated key things he and other members of the FIRS board need to do.  

The agenda was laid out by PwC’s West Africa Tax Lead, Taiwo Oyedele, who recently appeared on CNBC Africa’s “Power Lunch” programme to discuss the development. 

According to Oyedele, the FIRS under Muhammad Nami should do well to build capacity and conduct an appraisal of its status quo. Now, what does he mean by this? Let’s explain below. 

[READ: Buhari appoints Muhammad Nami as FIRS boss]

Instead of merely making unrealistic promises that might as well never be actualised, Oyedele believes that it will be more practical if the tax agency can first conduct an assessment of its operations in order to know what is working and what it needs to do away with.  

I think the risk always is that once you are appointed into positions such as the head of the FIRS, there is a tendency to quickly jump into making promises and commitments. Like we had it four years ago, Fowler did say that he was going to increase revenue by 300% and then he started rolling back. 

So, we are just saying that you guys should first make an assessment of what is on ground. And also don’t be quick to try and discontinue everything. What is it that is working that you can inherit and even make better? And what are the areas where we can do better?” 

Oyedele added that considering the critical stage Nigeria is in right now in terms of revenue generation, it is important for Nigeria’s FIRS board to get it right. He went further to say that getting it right has a lot to do with who heads the tax body. 

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Recall that President Buhari appointed Muhammad Nami as FIRS’s Executive Chairman in early December 2019. He assumed office last week and made his impact felt by reshuffling the composition of FIRS’s top management.  

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To watch Oyedele’s full interview with CNBC Africa, click here 

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