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Nigeria’s Senate Confirms Adedeji As FIRS Chairman

Adedeji has promised to re-access the importance of tax waiver issues to organizations.

The Senate, on Tuesday, confirmed Mr. Zach Adedeji as the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The new FIRS boss during his screening, pledged that the agency would re-access and re-evaluate the importance of tax waivers issues to some organisations.

President Bola Tinubu had appointed Adedeji in September, to take charge of the revenue agency in acting capacity after directing Muhammad Nami to proceed on a three-month pre-retirement leave.

Speaking when he appeared before the lawmakers, Adedeji said, “On tax credit scheme, when we developed it, there was a goal, we will check our goal when we set up this economic policy; is it still serving that economic policy and that is why change is inevitable most of the time.

“There was a purpose when they brought the tax credit scheme, but as of today that purpose needs to be changed.

“The law says all revenue should come into coffers.  Only the National Assembly have appropriation right; taxes are federation money.”

He added, “We will look into that and re-evaluate whether the reason we set up the tax credit scheme is still useful today or not.

“We will re-access all the waivers and reevaluate their economic importance whether useful or not.  We will review this, with your support.

“Our problem is lack of data. When you ask these people 10 times how much tax they should pay, they will give you 10 different answers.”

Adedeji noted, “One of the visions I have is to develop the data upon which we will make decisions. It is when we have data that we can plan so that we will not ask them how much they will pay because we have the data

“We will centralise the identification system. The National Identity Number (NIN) becomes the basic identity everyone will have, everything will be linked to it.”

Fielding a question from Ali Ndume, chief whip of the Senate, the FIRS chair noted that the NIN could be used for effective and efficient taxation.

“If NIN is tied to Rolls Royce or Bentley you will tell us who gifted you. You can’t have a Bentley and have a tax clearance of N100,000,” he added.

Ifeanyi Uba, Senator representing Anambra south, said Adedeji was competent for the job.

“I met him in Harvard and he led the class in Harvard. He has led reforms. What are we going to ask him? He should take a bow and go,” Uba said.

On his part, Sunday Katung, senator representing Kaduna South, said, “We interacted with him during our retreat. He is sound. He should be allowed to take a bow and go.”

Also, Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, (APC, Cross River South), said FIRS has been doing well since Adedeji took charge.

Meanwhile, the Senate has disclosed plans to investigate the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Plc (NSPMC) over the circumstances that surrounded the printing of the new naira note.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had redesigned all major naira currencies and started circulating them in December 2022.

The affected denominations are N100, N200, N500, and N1000.

The Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC), however, said it would investigate the exercise.

The Chairman of SPAC, Ahmed Wadada, stated this when the management of the agency appeared before it to defend its audit query raised against it in the 2019 report of the Auditor General for the Federation (AuGF).

The move to probe the printing of new notes was raised by Senator Adams Oshiomhole who is a member of the committee.

Oshiomhole, while speaking during the committee meeting, told the Managing Director of the agency to come with documents related to the printing of new naira notes.

“This will enable us to see how much was printed, how much was spent printing the new naira notes. This exercise happened under your nose,” he added.

The Chairman immediately interjected Senator Oshiomole, saying that would come under status inquiry.Sunday Aborisade in Abuja 

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