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Knocks, kudos over new FIRS helmsman

Mixed reactions have trailed the appointment of Muhammad Mamman Nami as new chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) who was confirmed by the…

Mixed reactions have trailed the appointment of Muhammad Mamman Nami as new chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) who was confirmed by the Senate yesterday, Daily Trust reports.

While some see his appointment and confirmation as a right move by Mr President, others however say he lacks the required public service experience to handle the job.

Until the announcement by President Muhammadu Buhari of his appointment as the new chairman of the FIRS, not much was known about Muhammad Nami.

Buhari had on Monday, December 9 approved the exit of Babatunde Fowler, whose first tenure came to an end on that same day, and nominated Nami as the new helmsman of the country’s tax commission.

Although Nami never had a known career in the public service, he prides himself as a well-trained tax, accounting and management professional with highly rated qualifications, professional practice and licenses from relevant professional bodies over the years.

According to his curriculum vitae, Mani, 51, is a private tax and accounting practitioner with three decades of practical working experience in auditing, tax management and advisory and management services to clients in the banking, manufacturing, services, and public sectors as well as non-profit organisations.

His CV also describes him as an expert in rendering advisory support services to investors in respect of business start-ups and the management of existing businesses. He is also said to have continuously rendered outsourced services to clients in both trading, services and manufacturing sectors of the economy.

A principal partner of PFK Consulting Kaduna, Alhaji Isa Yusufu, described Nami as a hardworking man who understands tax administration very well.

Yusuf, who provided Nami his first job at his firm PFK, after the latter graduated from Bayero University Kano (BUK) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology about three decades ago, recalled that after Nami’s first degree, he was introduced to him by the late Hamza Zayad and started his career in his firm as a trainee accountant/tax manager and rose to become the tax manager in the firm.

“In that position, he handled a lot of tax cases for industries, investors, companies and banks and was later made the head of the Tax Consultancy department of Foster Chartered Accountants in Nigeria.

“I remember him as a very hard-working person; he listens to advice and when you ask him to do a thing he delivers. He worked both in the interest of the firm and the clients. He was very close to his clients and is respected by his colleagues because he was seen as a very hard working person.

“Another thing about him is that he was a good trainer. He has trained a number of boys in tax administration and problems,” Yusufu said.

Asked if Nami can handle‎ the current position, Yusufu said he has no doubt the new chairman would deliver.

“He has been in the tax system for nearly 30 years now with me and not only worked in one office but all over the country, going round to handle tax matters ranging from industry to banking and personal taxes.‎

“He is a very cool person who listens and works according to the rules. He should continue along that way,” Yusufu said.

However, sources from Agaie Local Government Area of Niger State, where Nami comes from, said his appointment was not exciting.

“His name does not ring a bell; he is not a well-known person even in his immediate area,” the source said.

But another source said besides the experience Nami has in private sector, there was political consideration to his appointment.

“A governor and a powerful person who has the ears of the president played key role in his appointment,” he said.

“The powerful people have interest in Nami and that gave him an edge over other nominees for the job. I pray that as he steps into FIRS premises, he should surround himself with competent people so that he can deliver.

“The place is a strategic revenue earner for the federal government and requires a lot of commitment and above all requisite experience,” he said.

Profile

Muhammad Nami attended BUK where he obtained a Bachelor Degree in Sociology (1991) and a Masters of Business Administration (2004) respectively.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Institute of Debt Recovery Practitioners of Nigeria and Associate Member of Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered) and Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN).

He started his career with PKF in 1993 and rose to the position of a senior consultant in charge of tax management and advisory services. Before his appointment as FIRS chairman, he was the Managing Consultant of Manam Professional Services (Chartered Tax Practitioners and Business Advisers) based in Kaduna, Abuja and Minna.

Nami is said to have served and is still serving on many companies’ boards and statutory board audit committees. He was appointed as a member, Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Stolen Assets in November 2017 by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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