The Guardian

Zack @ 46: Portrait of an Exceptional Man

William Shakespeare, Britain's greatest playwright, charts three paths to greatness in his play Twelfth Night. “Some people are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness forced upon them,” he theorizes.

For the Bard of Avon, the first path is to be born into greatness and into a wealthy family. A person born this way naturally has a high social status thanks to the wealth of his parents. To the second class belong those who were clearly not born great, but who achieved greatness through effort and diligence. In the last class there are people who achieved great feats by chance or chance.

All things considered, Dr. Zak Adedeji, the subject of this article, fits into the second category. Mr Zac, who prefers to be called the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), is one of the prominent appointees of President Bola Tinubu. This is due to his immense abilities, knack for diligently carrying out the assigned tasks, and the content of his character. He is a man who rose to prominence through hard work, discipline, and God's abundant grace.

However, his path to fame was anything but smooth. Born into a humble farming family in Iwo-Ate, Ogo-Oluwa Local Government Area of ​​Oyo State, he decided early in his life that he would not allow his birth circumstances to dictate how far he could go. . While helping his father on the farm, the precocious Adeji never jokes about studying and realizes, especially through the examples he sees around him, that the only antidote to fatalism is education. Ta.

After successfully progressing through primary and secondary education, he pursued further knowledge by going to the Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Osun State, where he obtained an Ordinary National Diploma in Accountancy with distinction. Hungry for more, he enrolled for an advanced degree at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University in Ife to study business management and accounting. Just as he was about to begin his journey to Ife, his setbacks surfaced. His beloved father passed away. But Adehi did not let the tragedy derail his dream of going to Ife and becoming the strongest player. After just his second semester at Ife, his reputation as an “Effiko” (excellent student) spread beyond the classroom, earning him the nickname “Professor” by his classmates. “Prof'' shined brightly and received first-class honors.

After leaving OAU, everywhere Adeji worked, he left a mark of excellence and had so much positive impact that people admire him in those organizations with admiration and superlative admiration. Looking back on the era. At American multinational company Procter & Gamble (P&G), he started as a general accounting and administrative manager and rose to the level of chief financial manager for West Africa with an enviable track record. He led a cross-functional team that created and reported the company's financial statements regionally and globally using integrated data entry tools. He oversaw the day-to-day evaluation and implementation of SAP (System Applications and Products) modules and also led a 15-member finance team and developed internal processes for his SAP deployment in West Africa. Did.

While at P&G, he met Senator Abiola Ajimobi. Mr. Ajimobi was attracted to the highly regarded Mr. Adeji because of the young man's reputation as a brilliant financial professional with an impressive track record in an A-list organization. Ajimobi saw in Zach someone he could mentor and pour himself into, so he took Zach under his wing. The relationship blossomed, and when Mr. Ajimobi was elected governor of Oyo State in 2011, he appointed Mr. Adedeji, then 33, as finance secretary, making him the youngest person to hold the position in the state. The late former governor said of Zach: I can testify to his extraordinary creativity, insight, and extraordinary skill in public financial management. Decades from now will see his light shining brighter than ever on Earth's horizon. ”

His appointment as the 5th Substantive Secretary-General of the National Sugar Development Council in March 2021 was greeted with great cheers by industry stakeholders. Adehi quickly set his priorities. He introduced a number of strategies and programs to attract huge investments into the sector, particularly through the Council's backward integration program enshrined in the Nigeria Sugar Master Plan (NSMP). He viewed the sugar sector as a sector that, if fully exploited, could be used to solve unemployment.

From Sugar, he was appointed first as Special Advisor on Revenue and then as Executive Chairman of FIRS. After more than 100 days in office, he left agency staff in no doubt that his administration would be driven by merit and data. He focuses on data. Data is the only data-driven system that makes revenue targets predictable to deliver government fiscal projections for economic development. “Apart from accurate revenue forecasting, there is no substitute for fiscal discipline. If you say he wants to spend N10 and be disciplined, that means he must have N10 somewhere. ” he once told his staff. He equally assured that their welfare is at the top of his agenda, while establishing and maintaining the highest standards of accountability and transparency.

Apart from the journey of rediscovery of FIRS that began under the Adedeji administration, the Chairman has built taxpayer confidence in the service and ensured fair, impartial and modernized tax administration based on data and technology. Speaking at a meeting with the top 30 taxpayers in the country last year, Mr. Adeji said he was committed to ensuring that the FIRS under his direction watered and prospered business entities and their fruits were beneficial to the economic engine. Then he emphasized. “Our plan is simple. We want to increase tax revenue, but we only want to tax prosperity, not poverty. Therefore, it is not in our interest to kill fruit-bearing trees. We do not collect what is not owed to us. But we do not want anyone to not pay what is owed to us. Fair engagement is our plan.”

That's not all there is to say about Adeji, who turns 46 today. Space economics must be considered. Adedeji, like Baltasar Gracien, believes that being intelligent is not enough because having the right character is equally important. This belief was vividly captured by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, former Edo State Governor and current state senator, when he selected Adediji as FIRS chairman. His resume includes character, dedication, patriotism, ability, and more. I have interacted with this young man and know him to be of good character and very capable. What the president has done by making this appointment is to show that what older people can do, younger people can do even better in digital ways. ”

If you are looking for a young man who is naturally gifted with high intelligence, generous and considerate, who wipes the tears from people's faces, and who is looking for a human calculator who can accurately analyze numerical and process problems from root to branch. If so, Zach Adediji is that person. Your “one-stop shop”. I wish Orown a lot of happiness and wishes come true on his birthday. Chairman Bon Anniversaire.

Mr. Adekanbi is the Special Media Adviser to the Chairman of FIRS.


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