Buhari Summons Fowler Over Tax Under Remittance
President Muhammadu Buhari has summoned the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service(FIRS) Mr Babatunde Fowler to the Presidential Villa Monday August 19 to explain discrepancies and underremittance of tax revenue between 2015 and 2018, Economic Confidential has learnt on good authority.
In a query letter dated August 8th 2019 addressed to the FIRS Chairman and signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, ABBA Kyari noted observed significant variances between the budgeted collections and the actual collections for the period 2015 and 2018.
Abba Kyari wrote: “We observed significant variances between the budgeted collections and the actual collections for the period 2015/2018.
“Accordingly, you are kindly invited to submit a comprehensive variance analyses explaining the reasons for the variances between budgeted and actual collections for each main tax item for each of the years 2015 to 2018.
Furthermore, we observed that the actual colletions for the period 2015 to 2017 were significantly worse than what was collected between 2012 and 2014. Accordingly, you are kindly invited to explain the reasons for the poor collections.
You are kindly invited to respond by 19 August 2019.
Please, accept the assurances of my highest regards” ends the query.
Speaking to Economic Confidential on the development, a top presidency official who does want his name in print said he wondered how the query leaked throwing the blame to the doorsteps of angry staff of staff of the service.
“We don’t know how the the letter got to the press. Maybe people who don’t like the Chairman inside the organization leaked it. But it is true that the letter was indeed written on behalf of the President from the Chief of Staff.”
“As you have seen from the content, it is not a query per se. It is just a request for explanation. The request is itself based on the information supplied to the Presidency by the Chairman himself. He was asked to come forward with the revenue collection over a ten year period”.
From 2010 to 2014, the FIRS surpassed its targets for each year. From 2015 to date, the FIRS failed to meet its targets every year. So the idea of the letter is for him to explain the situation as raised by the records he presented. It’s for him to speak, not the presidency, he said.