Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, has been commended for facilitating the increase of non-oil revenue collection and contributing towards the country’s recovery from economic recession.
The commendation was given by Northern youths under the aegis of Arewa Youth Assembly (AYA).
AYA Speaker, Muhammad Salihu Danlami, gave the commendation to Fowler and the Comptroller- General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Colonel Hameed Ali (retd.), an extraordinary meeting held over the weekend in Kaduna.
Reading the communiqué of the meeting at a press conference on Monday, Danlami announced that the youth assembly passed a vote of confidence on Fowler and Ali for their innovative strategies which led to their agencies’ increased collection of non-oil revenue.
According to the speaker, both men have played vital roles in ensuring that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration helped the country to exit from recession, despite the huge challenges faced.
He said: “It is on record that the government breasted the tape of the challenge and worked the Nigerian economy out of recession in record time never seen before in the world over. This feat was achieved thanks to the commitment of some very innovative public servants at the helms of affairs of some of our MDAs.
“Thus, Arewa Youth Assembly is delighted at the masterful detailed attention being accorded by the administrators of these MDAs which has seen them spark to life with outstanding positive results.
“At the risk of sounding immodest, let it be placed on record that the achievement recorded by Mr. Babatunde Fowler and Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.) have achieved enviable records never seen before in Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) respectively since their creation.
“Mr. Fowler took over the reign of FIRS at a time our country was going through economic depression amidst dwindling oil revenues. It was his sheer ingenuity through the raise of non-oil revenues base in many folds that brought out our country of the recession.
“Between 2016 and 2018, the non-oil revenue collection grew by over N1trillion (about 21%). This is a record first for our country at a time when there is a global shift away from oil revenues towards economic diversification in non-oil sectors. It is well established fact that Mr. Fowler is an all-time ambassador for zero tolerance of corruption.
“Let’s use this medium as an organization to commend and pass a vote of confidence on the present FIRS management led ably led by Mr. Babatunde Fowler and NCS led by Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.) for raising the non-oil revenues to an all-time higher and for rising up to the occasion to reverse the then economic recession and stear our country’s economy to an era of boom and progress.”
The AYA Speaker noted that the tax collection of the FIRS under Fowler increased due to the mechanisms adopted, especially the e-Solutions and enlightenment programmes.
He said: “These recorded progress can be linked to far reaching reforms introduced by Mr. Fowler in areas of regular and continuous taxpayers’ education, ICT innovation drive and taxpayers’ enlightenment amongst others. And on the other hand Col. Ali water tight policies on border security and duty tax on taxable items in line with his given task to reform, restructure and increase the revenue generation of the customs draws accolades within and outside our shores.
“Mr. Fowler and Col. Ali supervise a total turnaround of the economy to meet up the challenges of the moment by riding the 2 agencies of pervasive corruption and undue political meddlesomeness. We shall vigorously continue to support President Muhammadu Buhari consolidation agenda in the next four years of the current term and his worthy lieutenants.”