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Crisis brews at FIRS as workers threaten strike over Fowler’s action



FIRS targets LGs to curb multiple taxation

Tension is brewing at the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as members of staff have kicked against the decision of the immediate past Chairman of the service, Mr. Babatunde Fowler to handover to the Coordinating Director, Domestic Taxes Group, Abiodun Aina in acting capacity.

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had announced a replacement for Fowler on Monday, necessitating his handover to Aina as acting chairman pending when President Buhari’s nominee will be confirmed by the Senate.

The workers, at an emergency meeting held on Tuesday at the Association of Civil Servants’ secretariat in Abuja, insisted that Fowler’s action violated the presidential directive on the handover.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, the workers said Aina could not be regarded as the most senior director in the FIRS.

The communiqué, signed, by 17 senior officials of the union, was sent to the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed; the President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria and the President of the Nigeria Civil Service Union.

It read, “The attention of the Joint Union Council of FIRS has been drawn to the handover of the chairmanship of FIRS on acting capacity to Mr Abiodun Aina on Monday December 9 2019.

Read also: Fowler in leaked memo to Buhari begged for a second tenure

“This was a clear departure from the Presidential directive on the handover as he (Aina) is not the most senior director.

“Mr Abiodun Aina in the first instance does not have the basic qualifications to be employed into the Service. Secondly, his appointment to the position of Coordinating Director was against the provision of Section 2.19 of the FIRS Human Resource Policies and Processes.

“The section states that “Appointment to the post of the Coordinating Director shall be made by the board on the recommendations of the executive chairman. The appointment shall be open to all confirmed directors of the Service and it shall be competitive based on experience, competence and seniority.”

According to the union, Aina was never a director in the Service, but a Senior Special Assistant to Fowler.

It also threatened that if the President’s directive was not reversed by Friday, it would no longer guarantee industrial harmony at the service.

“If by the close of work on Friday, 13th December, no action is taken to this effect, the union will no longer guarantee further industrial harmony in the system”, the workers insisted.

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