Trouble looms in FIRS as workers demand handover to senior director
Twenty-four hours after the change of leadership at the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), members of staff of the Service have given the authorities till Friday for the most senior director to take over as acting chairman.
Mr. Babatunde Fowler handed over to Abiodun Aina, Coordinating Director, Domestic Taxes Group after President Muhammadu Buhari named Muhammad M. Nami to replace him as chairman and sent his name to the Senate for confirmation.
According to a communique sent to the Acting Executive Chairman, the workers, under the aegis of the Joint Union Council of FIRS, threatened that they cannot guarantee industrial harmony after Friday if Aina continues to act as chairman.
The FIRS claimed that Aina, “does not have the basic qualification/requirement (HND or BSc) to be employed into the Service.”
Besides, the union said Aina’s appointment to the position of Coordinating Director “was against the provision of Section 2.19 of FIRS Human Resource Policies and Processes which states as follows: Appointment to the post of Coordinating Director shall be made by the Board on the recommendation of the Executive Chairman.”
Aina’s appointment they claim should “be open to all confirmed Directors of the Service and it shall be competitive based on experience, competence and seniority, as he was never a director in the Service rather a Senior Special Assistant to the erstwhile Chairman of FIRS.”
They also claimed that “his name is not on the seniority list of confirmed FIRS staff and FIRS directors on the staff nominal roll rather on the list of Contract Staff of FIRS.”
At the end of the emergency meeting, union members resolved that “in accordance with the Presidential Directive, the seniority list should be followed and the appropriate person be directed to act, pending assumption of duty of the New FIRS executive chairman.
“That if by close of work on Friday, 13th December 2019, no action is taken to this effect, Union will no longer guaranty further industrial harmony in the system.”
The communique was signed by Okere Samson (JUC Chairman); Idris Hassan Abdulrahaman (JUC Vice Chairman); Lekwot Friday Thomas (JUC Secretary); Jimoh Idowu; Kenechukwu Oliver; Shehu M.D; Esther Acheme; Jane Akinbami; Abba Dalhatu; Akpabio N.M; Ajoge J.Y; Akorga Lucy; Ohiwere Ahmed A; Abubakar Abeni; Hussaini Moses; Nwoha Godwin and Habiba Adekunle.
The union leaders sent copies of the communique to Finance Minister Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nígeria President and his Nigeria Civil Service Union counterpart.