FIRS Boss, Tunde Fowler in Fresh Trouble

The last may not have been heard regarding the different controversies trailing Mr Tunde Fowler, Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), as sources in the presidency confided in Global News that there are plans by some cartels to remove him.

For some months now, Fowler has been enmeshed in one controversy or the other, ranging from financial misappropriation and embezzlement to alleged abuse of office, promiscuity among others.

Apparently, Fowler has stepped on the toes of some gladiators, who in turn feel that his time as the head honcho of FIRS is up. On the other hand, he still remains the good boy of another faction, who is doing all within its powers to ensure he retains his job. It is only a matter of time to discover who blinks first.

A senior source at the FIRS office in Abuja confided in our correspondent that lately, Fowler has been under pressure like never before. “So he has been brainstorming with many of us with the aim of churning an impressive performance in office because President Buhari is likely to judge him based on that.”

One of the steps taken by Fowler and his team to impress their employers is the proposed increase in Value Added Tax (VAT). But this has sparked fresh controversy and citizens and business moguls have called for head.

“At this time when investments and businesses are crumbling due to bad government policies, when basic amenities to grow businesses are not in place, then someone still thinks that increasing VAT is the solution to our problems? He is simply adding salt to our injury. A reality check should be carried out on those who made the proposal,” Engineer Gabriel Akinsanya told Global News.

Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Finance says it will invite the Minister of Finance and the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, (FIRS) to give details on reasons for the proposed increase in Value Added Tax (VAT).

The Chairman of the Committee, Solomon Adeola, made the disclosure in a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Kayode Odunaro.

Mr Adeola said the invitation was hinged on the proposed plan to increase VAT from 5 per cent to 7.2 per cent.

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, had after a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting spoken on the proposed plan to increase VAT. Mr Adeola said the proposed increase in VAT had generated mixed reactions among the public on its possible effects on living standards and the economy.

“We are glad that the minister of finance indicated that the VAT act will have to be amended for the increase to take effect. But we are concerned about the current economic situation of the country as it affects the generality of the people,” he reiterated. The chairman said the interaction with the two key officials of federal government would form part of the basis for possible amendments of the VAT Act. According to him, the meeting will further assuage any sentiments against the proposed VAT increase, if eventually the act is amended.

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