The Presidency has denied investigating the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler.
A leaked letter allegedly signed by the Chief of Staff (COS) to the President, Abba Kyari, dated August 8, 2019, and addressed to Fowler, had been in circulation.
Kyari, in the letter, asked Fowler to explain “significant” variances in budgeted collections and actual collections of tax in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
However, a statement on Monday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said that the letter from Kyari “merely raises concerns over the negative run of the tax revenue collection”.
He said: “Taking a cue from today’s (Monday) presentation of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Retreat for Ministers-Designate, Federal Permanent Secretaries and Top Government Functionaries , which dwelt on an ‘Overview of the Policies , Programmes and Project Audit Committee,’ a body he chaired, projected revenue of government falls behind recurrent expenditure even without having factored in capital expenditure.
“Consequently, it would appear that the country might be heading for a fiscal crisis if urgent steps are not taken to halt the negative trends in target setting and target realisation in tax revenue.
“Anyone conversant with Federal Executive Council deliberations would have observed that issues bordering on revenue form the number one concern of what Nigeria faces today, and therefore, often take a prime place in discussions of the body.
“It is noteworthy and highly commendable that under this administration, the number of taxable adults has increased from 10 million to 20 million with concerted efforts still on-going to bring a lot more into the tax net.”