Why Fowler was Removed as Chairman of FIRS
The Senior Special Sssistant to the president on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu has revealed that Babatunde Fowler’ former Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) was removed because of his inability to generate enough revenue.
Shehu told journalists during the weekend in Abuja that the federal government had to effect the change to solve the revenue challenge that the government is currently facing.
Fowler’s tenure as FIRS executive chairman expired on December 9 and President Muhammadu Buhari announced Muhammad Nami as his replacement.
“So, if you ask me, from my own understanding, the problem we have in this country is the revenue issue,” he said.
“We have a revenue problem because we are unable to generate as much money as it is needed to do more capital infrastructure and also service debt. Because of the low revenue earnings, people look at the size of our debt repayment and they scream.
“The government is doing something about this and I’m happy you have seen the change that has happened in FIRS, give them a chance, let see how they would perform.
“Government is optimistic that things will look upward and the revenue will improve. And once there is an inflow that is sufficient to do a lot of these things, we may not even need to borrow.”
He said the Buhari administration is borrowing to carry out essential projects.
“It is not a scandal to borrow, the bad thing about borrowing is when you deployed it to your pocket. This has happened in the past in this country, President Buhari is borrowing to do railway, to do East-West expressway, to do second Niger Bridge, to do Mambilla power, to do Abuja-Kano expressway, to do Ajaokuta-Abuja gas pipeline.
“These are projects that are beneficial to the economy, these are basic infrastructure projects – railway, power – without which this country cannot achieve development.”