The Nigerian Civil Service Union (SU) disclosed that secret recruitment of over 2,000 workers has put the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) under financial strain.
According to the union, the agency was finding it difficult to pay salaries at some point this year after the secret engagement of the staff members within a period of 18 months.
In a letter to the FIRS Chairman, Muhammad Nami, dated June 21, 2021, NCSU demanded an end to the re-engagement of retired directors and other categories of staff. The letter titled ’21 days’ ultimatum to FIRS management’ was signed by the Chairman, NCSU-FIRS Unit, Idris Abdulrahman; and the Secretary, Idowu Jimoh respective.
The letter which was copied to the Minister of Finance, Nigeria Labour Congress, Nigerian Civil Service Union, NCSU, Federal Council, The FIRS board secretariat and all FIRS staff read in part. “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 union blamed the dwindling revenue collection in the country on the untimely implementation of the tax pro-max application by the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
While lauding the application which enables seamless registration, filing and payment of taxes and automatic credit of withholding tax as well as other credits to the tax payers’ accounts, the union faulted the timing of the implementation which it said coincided with the FIRS’ peak period for tax collection. It therefore, recommended that the application be done in phases while asking that the tax payers should be allowed to file both electronically and manually.
Sequel to the 21-day ultimatum given to the management to meet its demand, including the payment of general performance bonus for collecting 98.6 per cent of the 2020 revenue target, the FIRS spokesman, Abdullahi Sumaila, denied that the FIRS was finding it difficult to pay salaries, adding that the agency has been paying salaries as and when due.
He added FIRS have been paying salaries as and when due and that there would have been protests if there was secret recruitment.