Uncertainty over FIRS boss reappointment, as his tenure ends

The tenure of Babatunde Fowler as the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) ended last weekend and reports have emerged that he is expected to hand over to the most senior Director.

Fowler became FIRS boss on August 20, 2015, but his tenure officially began on December 9, 2015, when the National Assembly confirmed his appointment.

According to the FIRS Establishment Act, the executive chairman shall be appointed by the President subject to the confirmation of the Senate. The chairman and other members of the board, other than ex-officio members, shall each hold office for a term of four years, renewable only once.

Before his appointment, he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) where he served under the then governor of the state, Babatunde Fashola. The tax administrator spearheaded the Lagos tax reform agenda. He expanded the Lagos tax base, which resulted in an increase in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from an average of N3.6 billion per month in January 2006 to an average of over N20.5 billion per month in 2014.

Fowler’s possible replacement: Although no substantive appointment has been made by the President, the FIRS boss is expected to hand over to the Coordinating Director in charge of Domestic Tax Group, Abiodun Aina, today. This is according to a report by Punch.

Aina is taking over because Fowler is meant to hand over to the most senior director in the agency. Aina is an investment manager with over 20 years of post-qualification experience in auditing, taxation and banking. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria; Associate Member, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers and Associate Member, Chartered Taxation Institute.

He was appointed the Special Advisor to the Executive Chairman, FIRS in August 2015. Along with his advisory role, he was appointed Coordinating Director of the Domestic Tax Group of the FIRS on May 15, 2017. He has 13 years of continuous practice in taxation.

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