On Friday at a virtual ceremony, Muhammad Nami, The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has been elected as the 15th President of the Commonwealth Tax Administrators Forum (CATA) for a three-year tenure.
Nami during his speech stated that he will serve dutifully, shouldering the great responsibility that comes with the assignment.
“Your support is an honour that I do not take lightly. I want to assure all members that I will work assiduously in delivering on the mandate of this office; and I will not disappoint you. It is a great privilege and I do not take it for granted”
Muhammad Nami, who is the former Chairman of the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) stated that due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, taxation has become the mainstay for economies the world over in providing the required revenue to fund governance.
“Today, taxation has become the mainstay of every economy around the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the earnings of most economies, especially those whose revenue sources were fetched from activities such as recreational tourism, medical tourism, minerals exploration, commodity exportation etc.
“These activities were performed minimally, and in some cases even experienced total cessation due to physical restrictions imposed by many nations during the COVID-19 lockdown. Economies across the world have had no other choice but to look inward to taxation as the most viable alternative to provide the required revenue to fund government”
“This new normal brought about a greater embrace of digital technologies that came with its own challenges for tax administrators. One of these challenges is the inadequate capacity of tax administrators to understand and track digitalized transactions which has become the order of the day.”
Regardless of these challenges, Muhammad Nami, who served as Chairman of the African Tax Administration Forum up to November 2020, and is currently the Chairman of the Joint Tax Board in Nigeria, has promised that as President of CATA he will mobilize the member countries and other tax bodies to build capacity of tax administrators to tackle the challenges they face.
“I will work with the CATA Secretariat to effectively collaborate with other tax bodies such as ATAF, WATAF, UN, OECD, NTO, among others, in the area of training and sharing of experience of good and innovative practices in tax administration around the globe.
“One goal I hope to achieve as your President is to work hand-in-hand with member countries to expand the character of tax administration such that our work is in tune with today’s innovation and realities.” CATA’s newly elected President stated.
The Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA) was established following a decision taken at a meeting of the Commonwealth Finance Ministers held in Barbados in 1977. It had 23 founding member countries and has grown to 46 member countries today, making it one of the world’s largest bodies of tax administrators.