The Nigerian Civil Service Union (NCSU) has alleged that the secret recruitment of over 2,000 workers by the Federal Inland revenue Service’s (FIRS’) management over the past 18 months is negatively impacting the Service’s finance, thereby making it difficult for it to pay salaries at some point this year.
In a letter dated June 21, 2021 and titled ’21 Days’ Ultimatum to FIRS Management,’ signed by the Chairman of the NCSU-FIRS Unit, Idris Abdulrahman; and the Secretary, Idowu Jimoh; and addressed to the FIRS Chairman, Muhammad Nami, the labour group demanded immediate stoppage of the re-engagement of retired directors and other categories of staff to reduce personnel and overhead costs of the Service.
The letter, which copies were sent to the Minister of Finance, Nigeria Labour Congress, the NCSU Federal Council, the FIRS board secretariat and all FIRS staff, read inter alia: “In compliance with extant provisions/protocols on recruitment and career progression, we demand the immediate stoppage of re-engagement of retired directors and other categories of staff.
“We have noted that timely payment of salaries was a challenge at some point in 2021 after discrete recruitment of over 2,000 staff within a record period of less than 18 months”, the NCSU added
This is even as the labour union attributed the dwindling revenue collection in the country to the ‘’untimely implementation of the tax pro-max application by the Federal Inland Revenue Service.”
It said the implementation has had adverse effects on collections which ought to be high in June/July from analysis of past records.
Although the labour group described the application as desirable for revenue collection efficiency in view of capacity for seamless registration, filing and payment of taxes and automatic credit of withholding tax as well as other credits to the tax payers’ accounts, it, however flawed the timing of the implementation that coincided with the FIRS’ peak period for tax collection.
The NCSU recommended that the application should be implemented in phases while still allowing tax payers to file their returns both manually and electronically for some period
Also, the labour group also gave the management a 21-day ultimatum to meet its various demands, including the payment of general performance bonus for raking in 98.6 percent of revenue target during the 2020 fiscal year.
Reacting to the labour group’s allegations, the Service Director, Communications and Liaison Department, Mr Abdullahi Ismaila, debunked the labour group’s allegations, saying that the agency has been paying salaries as and when due.
He maintained: “You would have seen protests if there was secret recruitment, which is not true. All I know is that they have been paying salaries as and when due.”