The new acting executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr Samuel Akin Ogungbesan, has commended his predecessor, Alhaji Kabir Mashi.

The director, Communications & Liaison Department of FIRS, Mr Emmanuel Obeta, said Mr Ogungbesan, a coordinating director at FIRS, thanked his predecessor for his achievements in office in the last three years.

Mashi’s replacement with Ogungbesan was contained in a statement by the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Reuben Abati, on Wednesday, March 18.

Mr Obeta quotes Mashi as saying during his valedictory meeting with FIRS coordinating directors and top management staff in Abuja on Wednesday: “Lucky enough, FIRS is a family and we should continue to work as a team. I believe we will continue to work and support each other as a family. I urge and encourage you to work as a family and give him all the support he needs to succeed. If he succeeds, the credit goes to all of you. I am sure he will succeed.”

Mr Mashi had served as acting executive chairman of the Service since April 2012 when he took over from Mrs Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru.

The new chairman said he was lucky that Mr Mashi would still be around, in case he needed his continued assistance on issues to move the Service forward. “We are building a very good culture here. This is our country and we will work together to build a strong economy. I hope to enjoy all the support from all of you around the table,” he said.

Mr Ogungbesan, who holds a B. Sc in Economics, is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and an associate member of the Nigerian Institute of Management.

He joined FIRS as an inspector of taxes II and has risen to his present level, having handled challenging responsibilities and assignments in various departments within the Service.

Apart from pioneering the administration of Large Taxpayers Unit in Lagos, Mr Ogungbesan had represented the FIRS in many tax conferences and seminars, both in Nigeria and overseas.

He had served in Tax Policy Department of the Service for many years and was pioneer director, Planning Reporting and Statistics Department.

He was a major player during the review of Nigerian Tax Laws in 2005, when he was appointed coordinating director, Tax Operations Group, in February 2010.

Until his appointment, Mr Ogungbesan was coordinating director, Standards and Compliance Group, which delineates and articulates service-wide operational standards for tax practice in the FIRS.

Mr Ogungbesan is a strong advocate of change, with focus on improvement in the tax administration system in Nigeria.

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