Fowler - New African Tax Chair Lists Priorities, Says Won't Disappoint Africa

The newly elected Chairperson of the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Tunde Fowler, has said he will not disappoint the confidence reposed in him by the tax body as he identified his priorities in the next three years.

According to Fowler, his priorities include: robust exchange of programmes to build capacity for member-states, renewed membership drive to increase numbers of members and make active dormant members, especially from North Africa, secure continued support of ATAF Development Partners and to consolidate ATAF’s collaboration with international and regional multilateral bodies.

“Be assured you have made good choice. I shall not disappoint you”, Fowler said in his acceptance speech.

Fowler told representatives of 38 member-countries of ATAF and stakeholders across the continent, Wednesday in South Africa that ATAF needed to be strengthened in order to adequately face the challenges of economic downturn in African countries.

“Our organization must be strengthened to remain relevant and provide support to members as they grapple with the peculiar challenges facing Tax administration in the current global economic downturn which is putting governments under severe pressure in both the developed and developing countries. The times we are, makes the job of the revenue collector, most arduous”

“At such challenging times for tax administrators, I shall be preoccupied with accomplishing, working the members of the Council and member countries and the Secretariat over the next two years: improve the Fundingavailable to support the lofty plans ATAF (Trainings, Technical assistance and staff exchange programmes, etc) has towards assisting members improve their capacities to collect the revenue our governments require to improve the wellbeing of Africa’s teeming populace; intensify membership drive–to increase numbers of members and make active dormant members, especially our brothers from North Africa and secure the continued support of our Development Partners”, Mr. Fowler said.

Fowler said he would work with his team to Consolidate ATAF’s collaboration with international and regional multilateral bodies.
“To ensure that Tax administration is given the required levels of support from the highest political levels in our countries, we will ensure that ATAF continues with more vigour its engagements with the African Union (AU) and specifically the AU Forum of Finance Ministers. Also, ATAF’s collaboration on tax matters with such bodies as OECD, WATAF, CIAT, CATA will be strengthened to ensure that ATAF continues to benefits from the vast experience in tax matters available within the membership of these bodies and to ensure a well-functioning and properly staffed ATAF Secretariat (with a good spread of Africa’s linguistic diversity), where the Staff are provided with the adequate incentives and well equipped to attend to the needs of ATAF members”, he said.

Mr. Tunde Fowler, the first Nigerian to head ATAF emerged the winner of the keenly contested election during the Forum’s 4th General Assembly meeting in Durban, South Africa and was elevated from a Council Member to the Council Chairman.

ATAF announced the FIRS Chairman’s victory on its twitter @ATAFtax handle
thus: “Mr Babatunde Fowler, Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service of Nigeria elected ATAF Council Chair 2016-2018. He will be deputised by Mauritius”.

Mr. Fowler is the 3rd Chairperson of ATAF while Mr. Oupa Magashula of South Africa was the Forum’s first Chairperson. 

By his election, the FIRS Chief Executive takes over from the Commissioner General of Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Mr. Gershem T. Pasi and will preside over the affairs of the Forum from 2016 to 2018. 

Wahab Gbadamosi
Head, Communications and Servicom Department​