Since expiration of her tenure as the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), encomiums have not stopped pouring in for, Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui Okauru, owned to high standard she brought to bear in public service. The Oba Erediauwa of Benin has recently bestowed on Okauru a “Royal Beads’’ as part of honour to celebrate her for a job well done while in the FIRS.
Traditionally, chieftaincy titles are not conferred on women folk in Benin, but women who demonstrated uncommon ability to flourish in their chosen profession and positively project the image of the ancient kingdom do not go unrecognised by the royal palace.
The recognition represents a sterling and unblemished manner with which Okauru served the nation while in FIRS that qualified her for the conferment of the royal beads by the revered Oba of Benin.
The conferment of the royal beads which is the highest title a woman could receive from the palace is the second honour to Okauru in less than six-month by Omo n’ Oba n’ Edo. Tthe Oba Erediauwa had had honoured her with award for excellence on December 30, 2011, for her contribution to the growth and development of Nigeria’s economy.
Okauru commended Oba Erediauwa for the honour and described it as a challenge to continue to serve Nigeria and humanity in general with greater commitment. “Even though I really did not grow up in Benin, I am very traditional so really this is one of the greatest honour I have had and I want to thank the Oba for this privilege and honour not just for me, but for my parents, my family and the country in general’’, she said.
During her tenure at FIRS, Mrs. Omoigui-Okauru was instrumental to the development of Vision 2020:20 plan for the Nigerian Tax System as well as the development of a harmonised tax reform agenda in October 2004. Other achievements included the approval and launching of the National Tax Policy by the Executive Council of the Federation (FEC) and the National Economic Council (NEC); strengthening of the tax policy function of the FIRS, enabling the FIRS to play a leading role along with the Federal Ministry of Finance in developing and implementing tax policies at the Federal level.
Her tenure also saw to the approval and gazetting of tax regulations aimed at entrenching a self-assessment regime, clarifying companies eligible for tax deductible donations, development of regulations on transfer pricing; the introduction of the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), on-going review of all tax laws, including drafting of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in collaboration with other stakeholders.
She was also instrumental to the redrafting of the Value Added Tax Act, development of a Consolidated Income Tax Act and the drafting of a comprehensive Tax Administration Code; the review of Capital Gains Tax Act, Stamp Duties Act, improved Funding of the Service, creation of one stop integrated tax offices, increased focus on taxpayer market segmentations among others.