History is set to remember favourably, the leadership of Muhammad Nami at the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS as the need for synergy among professional bodies with a recent settlement it brokered has been brought to the fore. 

The thought of such a settlement would have been imagined as a wild goose chase especially to think that the protracted face-off between a group of three related professional bodies in the country will settle anytime soon. Alas with pen on paper via a Memorandum of Association signed under the supervision of the FIRS boss a few hours ago has seen the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), and the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) for the first time chart a new course together since 2004.

To appreciate the depth of what has been achieved, it is important to state that since 2004 running into almost 17 years of dispute between ICAN, ANAN, and CITN, the order of the day has been from one court dispute to another irrespective of their inter-related functions as a professional body.

As noted by the FIRS chairman, this agreement marks the first time since 2004 that the three professional groups will sign the dotted lines of a peace document with a show of interest to settle differences with the aim of growth in the nation’s tax administration to boost compliance.

Muhammad Nami has added to his achievement this long-awaited settlement between the three professional bodies.

What this portends

The peculiarity of taxation as a multi-professional field in need of technicalities like accounting makes the synergy amongst these related professional bodies timely as a time where the country looks forward to a seamless tax process, improving the ease of doing business index side by side.

Point of reference after settlement

Few minutes into the peace agreement, ICAN, CITN, and ANAN already have a new task to work on as championed by the FIRS’ boss. The three bodies are encouraged to standardise academic syllabuses and examinations, training, mutual observer statuses at AGMs, and paper contributions amongst other cores.

Check the FIRS boss’ settlement speech

“following the disagreement and various court disputes since 2004 to date, between ICAN, ANAN, and CITN on the issue of Tax practice, it became necessary that FIRS under my leadership should intervene by inviting the three sister professional bodies for an amicable resolution.”

“This is the very first time, ICAN, CITN, and ANAN are coming together on one platform to affix their respective hands and seals to a document, affirming their commitment to the growth and development of tax administration, compliance, and practice in Nigeria.

Response to the peace settlement from President of CITN, Dame Gladys Olajumoke

APBN Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria has waded into this and we’ve all been going one step forward and five steps backward.”

Siblings do quarrel and at the end of the day come together and that is what is happening today.

Response to the peace settlement from the ICAN president Dame Onome Joy Adewuyi

ICAN will respect that wish. I only pleaded with you that as much as possible sir, let everybody’s interest be recognized in this matter.

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