Uche Usim, Abuja
Following blistering allegations of tribalism and clannishness leveled against the management of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), its Executive Chairman, Mr Muhammad Nami has dismissed it as total falsehood, insisting that no such thing existed there.
The allegations indicated that recent appointments and retirements were done along ethnic and religious lines at the FIRS.
He said: “The FIRS wishes to clarify that the recent staff retirement exercise which affected nine directors was done in full compliance with the law and in the best interest of the Service and the country, contrary to insinuations in a section of the media.
“The Board of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in a meeting held on Friday, March 20, 2020 took the decision and approved that all directors who had served in the FIRS for eight years and above should be retired.
“The FIRS Board took that decision in line with Paragraph 10.1(a)(iii) of Human Resources Policy and Programmes (HRPP)” of the FIRS after considering a number of career progression complaints by some staff in the Service.
“Worthy of note is that FIRS Establishment Act, 2007, Section 7 empowers the FIRS Board to take certain far-reaching decisions in the interest of the Service and by extension, the country”, Nami stated in a statement.
He described the FIRS as a national institution of pride where tribalism and ethnic jingoism has no ground to take roots, let alone of thriving.
“The FIRS is one national institution which any Nigerian joins and is assured of rising to the very top in the hierarchy based on his or her individual competence and hard work on the job, and not on the basis of any tribal or religious affiliation.”
The Executive Chairman stated: “If any FIRS worker had been a victim of tribalism or religious discrimination in the past, I say to such marginalized worker: Not anymore and not on my watch at the FIRS.”
“Specifically, Section 7 (d) states that the Board shall… “employ and determine the terms and conditions of service including disciplinary measures of the employees of the Service”. Section 7(J) states that the Board shall “do such other things which in its opinion are necessary to ensure the efficient/performance of the functions of the Service under this Act”.
“It is in the discharge of such responsibilities that the Board approved the retirement of the nine directors who had spent eight years and above as directors as provided by the FIRS statutes.
“In doing that, the FIRS Board considered subsisting issues in the Service which have to do with career progression. Management had observed that there was stagnation in career progression in the Service because some directors had served for about 10 years while younger members of staff who also possessed requisite expertise could not progress in their career line. Some staff had taken a number of promotion examinations and had passed but could not be promoted. The affected staff and the staff unions had complained to the Management to intervene in the situation.”