President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has appointed a First Class accountant, Zaccheus Adedeji, as the acting chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
Accordingly, the president announced Adedeji as a replacement for Mohammad Nami.
A statement issued yesterday by presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, noted that the president directed the erstwhile FIRS chairman to proceed on three months of pre-retirement leave as provisioned by public service rule 120243, with immediate effect, leading to his eventual retirement from service on December 8, 2023.
Adedeji is appointed in acting capacity for a 90-day period before his subsequent confirmation as the substantive executive chairman of the revenue watchdog for a term of four years in the first instance.
“By these directives of the President, the new appointment takes immediate effect,” Ngelale said.
Adedeji is a First Class graduate in accounting from the Obafemi Awolowo University.
He later obtained a Master of Science degree in Accounting, also from OAU.
Adedeji also attended Harvard Kennedy School of Government in the United States for an Executive Course in Economic Development.
Before obtaining a First Class degree in Accounting from OAU, he had a National Diploma in Accounting from Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Osun State.
He most recently served as special adviser to President Tinubu on revenue, following his terms as Oyo State commissioner of Finance and as executive secretary/CEO of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC).
Adedeji was born on January 8, 1978, in Ogbomoso, Oyo State.
He is from a family deeply rooted in the cocoa trade.
It is expected that he will bring his wealth of experience and knowledge to bear on his new assignment.
The former FIRS boss, Mohammad Nami was appointed by former President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2019, following the sack of his predecessor, Babatunde Fowler, who also served for a term in office.
Nami is one of the best performing chairmen of the FIRS, with record breaking tax revenue generation, especially at a time the nation’s oil commodity failed to offset the wide fiscal deficit that was created by outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and the oil price shock that characterised the global and domestic economies.
Under Nami’s watch, FIRS consistently grew its tax revenue collection from N4.95 trillion in 2020 to N10.1 trillion in tax revenue in the year 2022, the highest tax collection ever recorded in its history. The FIRS had also announced a total tax revenue collection of N5.5 trillion for the first half of January to June 2023.
He has set a high standard of tax reform through digital innovations for tax collection, which the new chairman will need to consolidate and build upon in line with the administration’s tax reform agenda.
Nami introduced outstanding initiatives to expand the tax net and boost tax revenue to support the federal and sub-national governments.
Some of the initiatives include the deployment of the “TaxPro Max” as a tax administration solution as well as other technological tools automation of tax administration processes, implementation of the four-cardinal goals of the FIRS executive chairman: making FIRS a customer-centric institution, making FIRS a data-centric institution, improving stakeholder collaboration and rebuilding the institutional framework of the service.
He led a team that prioritized improvement in stakeholder engagements while ensuring the taxpayer is satisfied. Some of the key tax implementation tools of the FIRS include issuance of circulars to guide and educate taxpayers on tax laws, legislations, how to file, filing returns and enlightenment of taxpayers on their rights and obligations.
Under his watch, FIRS’ organisational structure was redesign to ensure optimum efficiency of staff, with constant training and retraining of FIRS staff to improve their capacity, use of data and intelligence for tax collection and taxpayer profiling; building a comprehensive tax database and consistent stakeholder engagement in both the formal and informal sectors.