Read Full Speech of Mr. Zacch Adedeji, Acting Executive Chairman, FIRS day Handover Ceremony


Monday, September 18, 2023

First and foremost, I extend my heartfelt salutations to my predecessor, Mr. Muhammad Nami, whose leadership during his tenure elevated our standards, paving the way for our future endeavours. Mr. Nami’s commitment to excellence qhas set a remarkable precedent for us all.

I wish to convey my profound appreciation to each and every member of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) family, spanning from our dedicated Coordinating Directors to our accomplished Senior Managers. Your unwavering dedication to our vital mission of propelling our nation’s economic engine is truly commendable. It is your collective effort and commitment that form the bedrock of our success and drive us forward.

On a personal note, I firmly believe in the wisdom encapsulated in the statement, “Revenue growth is the lifeblood of a nation’s economy, providing the means to fulfil essential duties to its citizens.” These words, capture the core principle that will guide us as we navigate the challenging terrain ahead, ensuring that our nation thrives and fulfils its obligations to its citizens.

Presently, we confront a pressing revenue crisis, with a staggering 96% of government revenue being funnelled into servicing our debts. This stark reality necessitates swift and resolute action on our part. We cannot afford to delay; we must act decisively to reverse this concerning trend.

In our pursuit of a brighter fiscal future, we are determined to align ourselves with President Bola Tinubu’s esteemed Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee. This collaboration will enable us to shape a prosperous fiscal landscape that empowers our nation’s growth and development.

As we chart our course ahead, FIRS is committed to placing innovation, technology, and fresh ideas at the forefront of our operations. This strategic focus will empower us to enhance efficiency, fortify against revenue leaks, and bolster coordination and accountability within our organization.

For those who deviate from their tax obligations, rest assured, we will enforce our responsibilities judiciously. We will implement a robust enforcement model that effectively defers tax evaders while maintaining fairness and transparency in our processes.

A fundamental aspect of our mission is to elucidate to taxpayers why their civic duty matters. We are committed to simplifying our tax system, making it accessible and comprehensible, thereby facilitating voluntary tax payments and fostering a sense of civic responsibility.

Quality data will be the cornerstone of our operations, enabling us to measure our progress, make informed decisions, and maintain the highest standards of accountability. We recognise that data-driven strategies are essential to our success.

I pledge to maintain an open-door policy, actively engaging with stakeholders to collaboratively construct a tax administration that we can all take pride in. Together, we will build an institution that serves as a beacon of excellence.

Our aspiration is audacious – to surpass Africa’s average tax-to-GDP ratio of 16.5% and achieve an impressive 18% within three years. By doing so, we aim to reduce our nation’s reliance on borrowing and ensure financial sustainability.

The principles of integrity, confidentiality, professionalism, and fairness are non-negotiable in our service to the nation. Upholding these values will guide our actions and interactions as we work tirelessly to fulfil our mission.

Lastly, but by no means least, I would like to emphasise our unwavering commitment to the welfare of our staff. Your dedication will not go unnoticed, and we pledge to recognise and reward your hard work and dedication. Together, as one united team, we will work tirelessly to secure the prosperity of our nation and the well-being of its citizens.

In conclusion, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you for your dedication and unwavering commitment to this pivotal cause so far. Together, we embark on a journey that will shape our nation’s future, and I am confident that, with our collective effort, we will overcome challenges and achieve remarkable success.

Thank you all and May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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