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Muhammad Nami: Double Honour For The Nation’s Tax Czar




By Nkem Precious Esq

The aphorism that there is no hiding place for the golden fish was practically manifested last week when the Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Mamman Nami deservedly bagged double awards from reputable organisations. The nation’s number one tax collector at separate events was named winner of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Merit Award and the winner of the BusinessDay Excellence in Public Service Award.

Since his assumption of office as the Executive Chairman of the FIRS in 2019, Mr Muhammad Nami has been going about his duty with uncommon zest, focus and vigour. Within the relatively little years of his stewardship as the helmsman of the nation’s biggest tax agency, he has raised the bar of leadership at FIRS by posting many remarkable strides in office.

The FIRS Executive Chairman’s latest meritorious garland was bestowed on him at the 2023 annual awards of ICAN which took place at the Monarch Event Centre, Lagos, on Saturday 6 May, 2023. Muhammad Nami who was honoured in the non-members category at the event, was described by the President of ICAN, Mr Tijani Musa Isa, as a self-effacing and humble achiever who has steered the FIRS to excel in the national and international tax circle despite global economic downturns.

While eulogising the nation’s number one tax chief for achieving several milestones in revenue collection, the ICAN President said the Merit Award is in recognition of Muhammad Nami’s positive impact in the society stressing that he has made significant contribution to the institute and to Nigeria. “The governing board deemed it fit to acknowledge the role you (Nami) have played and your outstanding achievements,” Isa emphasised.

Muhammad Nami’s virtues as a leader imbued with exemplary and rare professional moral fibre were further captured in the citation read at the ICAN event, in which he was aptly described as “a go-getter and an ingenious leader.” 

The impactful reforms which he is implementing at FIRS did not escape the attention of the Institute as they were acknowledged as eloquent attestations to his dexterity, visionary leadership and patriotism. The citation took cognitive note of the fact that under his visionary leadership, the FIRS in 2022 achieved an unprecedented revenue collection of N10.1 trillion, the highest tax collection ever made in the annals of the country.

At a similar event two days earlier in the same week, the FIRS boss was named the winner of the BusinessDay Excellence in Public Service Award 2022. The event took place on Thursday 4 May, 2023 at the BusinessDay States Competitiveness and Good Governance Awards.

BusinessDay Newspaper explained that it named him the winner of the award for his “visionary and leadership qualities [that] have brought tremendous change to the FIRS.” 

It underscored Muhammad Nami’s landmark achievements by transforming the tax administration and compliance landscape in Nigeria. Prominent on the checklist of his strides in the transformative aspect is the introduction of the revolutionary TaxPro Max which is FIRS’ home-grown digital platform for tax administration. The hugely successful digital platform allows taxpayers to register, file returns and pay their taxes easily from any location other than their respective tax offices. TaxPro Max has proved an effective antidote of the delays and frustrations usually associated with the labyrinthine wholly manual process of the past that often lent itself to leakages, delays and frustrations.

BusinessDay commended Muhammad Nami for repositioning the operations and staff of the FIRS, as well as introducing technological tools to institute more transparency, accountability, and effectiveness, which in turn has translated into increased capacity to deliver on the mandate with outstanding results.

The Executive Chairman’s response after receiving the ICAN Merit Award captured his professional trajectory from a humble beginning through the rungs to the higher rungs of professional excellence. He summed his professional odyssey this way: ”Since I left the university, over 32 years ago, I have had the privilege and luck to be directly and indirectly associated with ICAN members: from the PKF, to Manam Professional Services, and now I am working directly with well over 3,000 members of this Institute as the Executive Chairman of the FIRS.”

He went on to dedicate the award to his alma maters (from primary to tertiary levels), his former colleagues at the Presidential Committee on Audit of Stolen Recovered Stolen Assets, members of the Tax Advisory Committee of the FIRS, all taxpayers, FIRS board members, management and staff of the FIRS plus his family members.

A rundown of Muhammad Nami’s rich profile reveals a man who is properly trained and horned in the fields of tax, accounting and management. He is a thoroughbred professional with highly rated qualifications and practicing licenses from relevant professional bodies.

An accountant, management professional, tax administrator and public officer, Muhammad Nami has more than three decades of practical working experience in auditing, tax management and advisory as well as management services to clients in the banking, manufacturing services and public sectors in addition to non- profit organisations. 

He is an expert in rendering advisory support services to investors in respect of new businesses. He has also continuously rendered outsourced services to clients in both trading, service and manufacturing sectors of the nation’s economy. 

A fellow of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria and Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, the FIRS boss is also an Associate Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered) and Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) as well as a graduate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

Like the great oak that grew from little acorns, Muhammad Nami started his career with PKF in 1993 and rose to the position of a senior consultant in charge of tax management and advisory services. From October, 2018 to December, 2019, he also served as the Managing Consultant of Manam Professional Services, a Chartered Tax Practitioners and Advisers firm that had offices in Kaduna, Abuja and Minna.

He is the current President of the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA). He is the Chairman of the Joint Tax Board (JTB), a statutory position he holds as the Executive Chairman of the FIRS. He is the immediate past Chairman of the African Tax Administrators Forum (ATAF). These roles have invariably conferred on him the need to contribute to the growth and development of Nigeria, Africa and the commonwealth nations. 

As a proactive and innovative leader, he has since proved bookmakers right that he is more than equal to the task. The reforms he is implementing at FIRS attest to his dexterity, visionary leadership and patriotism. Under his visionary leadership, the FIRS in 2022 achieved an unprecedented revenue collection of N10.1 trillion, which is the highest tax collection ever made in the history of the country.

Recently, he earned accolades for audacious deployment of technology as well as the introduction of unprecedented reforms in Nigeria’s tax administration including data mining and strategic intelligence gathering for improved revenue generation.

His sterling leadership and impressive scorecard have earned him and the FIRS several other awards. For instance, in October 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari conferred on him the Excellence in Public Service Award for Fiscal reforms at the FIRS while he also received the Leadership Newspaper Public Servant of the Year Award for 2022.

Muhammad Nami’s exemplary leadership style has greatly helped to galvanise and motivate the management and entire workforce of the FIRS to be disciplined and amenable to basic etiquette of the Service.

The fact that he is a man driven by ideas and positive results is attested to by the regular on-the-job trainings and brainstorming sessions he organises at the FIRS. He is a modern era leader that is never weary of updating and introducing result-yielding innovative ideas and techniques.

Among other contributory factors to the astounding success of Muhammad Nami at the FIRS are his humble and honest attributes. Beneath the veneer of his gentle mien is the steely quality of a leader who does not compromise integrity and value in the discharge of duty. Certainly, the FIRS under the clear-headed, confident and chivalrous leadership of Muhammad Nami is primed for more plumage of honours and awards in future.

* Nkem Precious is an Abuja based lawyer

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NIS Will Focus More On Passport Insurance, Staff Welfare – New Ag. CG



The newly appointed Acting Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Caroline Adepoju, has promised to promote staff welfare and passport insurance.

Adepoju, therefore, directed all passport offices nationwide to take necessary steps to ensure no Nigerian is subjected to unnecessary delays or substandard treatment in the course of applying for passports.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Service Public Relations Officer (SPRO), Comptroller of Immigration, Mr. Tony Akuneme, in Abuja, yesterday.

The Acting CG read the riot act, when she addressed top management of the NIS minutes after taking over from Alhaji Isah Jere, her immediate predecessor.

Adepoju affirmed that she would focus majorly on passport issues and staff welfare as those two aspects contribute mostly to the complaints of Nigerians and NIS personnel.

She announced that a stakeholders meeting would be convened in the next few days to x-ray the real issues in passport process and proffer far-reaching solutions.

This, she said, would include opening more front offices in the Lagos area, where the bulk of complaints emanate from.

Adepoju equally said she would adopt a bottom-top approach in tackling officers’ welfare.

“We will start by meeting all cadres of staff to hear their genuine needs, in a bid to hit the ground running with a blue print that will be based on an all inclusive needs assessment,” she said.

She appreciated the immediate past Comptroller General for making positive impact on the service during his tenure and asked God to guide him in his future endeavours.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adepoju had served in various locations during her career in the NIS.

Until her appointment, she was the Deputy Comptroller General in charge of Finance.

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Tinubu Reinstates Sanity As DSS, EFCC Squabble Over Property In Lagos




A protracted conflict between Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a building at No. 15 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, appeared to have taken a dirty twist, yesterday.

The incident, however, earned a place in the archive of the new administration as one of the first interventions by President Bola Tinubu, who was sworn in barely 24 hours earlier.

Operatives of the DSS had barricaded entrance to the EFCC’s office, located at the said building, leading the anti-graft agency to issue a protest statement.

Meanwhile, the DSS issued a counter statement, denying it barricaded the premises, and claiming it was “only occupying its own” facility.

According to a statement released by presidential spokesman, Tunde Rahman, Tinubu “directed DSS to immediately vacate the office of the EFCC in Ikoyi, Lagos,” adding, “if there were issues between the two important agencies of government, they would be resolved amicably.”

EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, described the incident as bizarre, given that both agencies had shared the controversial facility for decades.

The statement reads: “Operatives of the Lagos Command of the EFCC arrived at their office on No. 15 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, this morning, May 30, 2023, to be denied entry by agents of the DSS, who had barricaded the entrance with armoured personnel carriers.

“This development is strange to the Commission, given that we have cohabited with the DSS in that facility for 20 years without incident.

“By denying operatives access to their offices, the Commission’s operations at its largest hub, with over 500 personnel, hundreds of exhibits, and many suspects in detention have been disrupted.

Cases scheduled for court hearing today have been aborted, while many suspects who had been invited for questioning are left unattended.

“Even more alarming is that suspects in detention are left without care, with grave implications for their rights as inmates. All of these have wider implications for the nation’s fight against economic and financial crimes.

“The siege is inconsistent with the synergy expected of agencies working for the same government and nation, especially when there are ongoing discussions on the matter.”

DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, however, said: “It is not correct that the DSS barricaded EFCC from entering its office. No. It is not true. The Service is only occupying its own facility where it is carrying out its official and statutory responsibility.

“By the way, there is no controversy over No 15 Awolowo Road, as being insinuated by the media. Did the EFCC tell you it is contesting ownership of the building? I will be surprised if it is contesting the ownership.

“Awolowo Road was NSO headquarters. SSS/DSS started from there. It is a common knowledge. It is a historical fact. Check it out.

“There is no rivalry between the Service and the EFCC over and about anything. Please, do not create any imaginary one. They are great partners working for the good of the nation. Dismiss any falsehood of a fight.”


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Three Killed While Travelling To Attend Inauguration Of New Ebonyi Governor, Nwifuru




The victims who hailed, from Izzi Local Government Area, the home town of the new governor, Francis Nwifuru, were said to have died in a ghastly motor accident on their way to Abakaliki.

Three persons travelling to attend Monday’s swearing-in ceremony in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, Southeast Nigeria, have reportedly been killed.

The victims who hailed, from Izzi Local Government Area, the home town of the new governor, Francis Nwifuru, were said to have died in a ghastly motor accident on their way to Abakaliki.

Although the details of the accident were still sketchy, reports claimed many others also sustained varying degrees of injury.

According to one report, the vehicle carrying the victims had gone to Izzi to pick up villagers. Unfortunately, while they were travelling from the local government area to Abakaliki, one of the car tyres was deflated. 

Those injured in the accident have reportedly been moved to the Ebonyi Federal Teaching Hospital in Abakaliki.

The swearing-in ceremony in the state, like it is happening across the country today (Monday), is holding at the Pa Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, Abakaliki.

Meanwhile, efforts made by SaharaReporters to speak with the State Police Public Relations Officer SP, Onome Onovwakpoyeya, were unsuccessful as she didn’t answer her calls.

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