The staff of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) are determined to down tool. Their reason is that they claimed the immediate past Executive Chairman of the agency, Babatunde Fowler, defied the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari over handing over the agency to Abiodun Aina, the Coordinating Director, Domestic Taxes Group.
They argued that Aina is not the most senior Director, a development the workers said contradicted the Buhari’s directive that the most senior director in the service should take over from the former Chairman pending the confirmation of the nominee, Mahammad Nami by the Senate.
They said, “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.”
On December 9, 2019, Fowler handed over to Aina after his tenure ended on December 8, 2019. He wasn’t reappointed by President Buhari, who replaced him with Nami, a member of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Stolen Assets.
Post-Fowler crisis rocks FIRS: During a meeting at the secretariat of the Association of Civil Servants in Abuja, workers spoke against Fowler’s decision. According to them, Aina isn’t the most senior director and he doesn’t have the basic qualifications to be employed into the Service.
According to a communiqué, which was signed by 17 senior officials of the union and sent to the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed; Aina’s appointment as the Coordinating Director was against FIRS Human Resource Policies and Processes.
It said, “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.
“This was a clear departure from the Presidential directive on the handover as he (Aina) is not the most senior director.
“Abiodun Aina 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.”
What you need to know: Appointment to the position Aina held before taking over from Fowler is said to be based on experience, competence and seniority, and according to the workers, Aina was only a Senior Special Assistant to Fowler and not a director at FIRS.
“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.”
[READ ALSO: Tax: Buhari appoints Muhammad Nami as FIRS boss)