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FIRS effects sweeping changes, 50 Directors affected in exercise

* Chairman allegedly adjusts 2020 revenue target from N17trillion to N8.5trillion

Helen Williams

There has been a massive shakeup at the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS),  Nigeria’s tax agency, and about 50 Directors are reportedly affected in the extensive exercise.

Premium Times reports about 50 Directors, Deputy Directors, Assistant Directors, and over 100 other personnel of the Service have been transferred by Mr. Muhammad Nami, the new Executive Chairman.

Source stated the movements were means of shaping FIRS along the lines Mr. Nami believes could fetch him his adjusted N8.5trillion target for 2020.

ConsumerConnect recalls that Mr. Nami, earlier during the festive holiday period, had reportedly set a N17trillion revenue target for this year, a development which apparently induced fears and disquiet in the personnel across the FIRS.

Some of the Directors were said to have moved up in relevance and ranking, whereas a senior management staff got a tacit boot away from the agency.

A new director also joined the service.

The source revealed that the change, according to a Director who newly retired from the Service, is also a means of placing Mr. “Nami’s own ministers in strategic positions so he could move very fast.”

Among those affected in the exercise are Cyriacus Ekechi, a one-time Coordinating Director, Compliance Enforcement Group, who became the Transition Lead Compliance Support Group; Aishiekh Maidugu, Director, Planning Reporting and Statistics, now Special Assistant Special Duties to the Executive Chairman; and Femi Oluwaniyi, Director Debt Management, now Transition Lead, Domestic Taxes Group.

Others are Kudu Mohammed, Assistant Director, Project Management Office (e- Services), now Special Advisor to the Executive Chairman – a position said to have been occupied by the former Acting Chairman, Abiodun Aina, before he became Coordinating Director, Domestic Taxes Group and Abdullahi Ismaila, Special Assistant Service and Communication to the FIRS Chairman.

A circular signed by Victor Ekundayo, Director, Human Capital Management Department, dated December 31, 2019, stated the five officials along with the Executive Chairman would constitute the Interim Management Team of the Service.

Meanwhile, an Assistant Director is reported to have confirmed that more transfers and movements would come as Mr. Nami strengthens his hold on the FIRS.

“These transfers are normal. When (Babatunde) Fowler also came, he moved people on a continuous basis until he was comfortable to do the job.

“And let me tell you, in the FIRS that I know, anyone who has spent four years in an office could be transferred. It’s in black and White. And staff know.

“The new Chairman is eager for results. And as you can see, his focus is tax, tax, tax, and anything that could assist him to realise the 2020 target,” the official said on a condition of anonymity.

Wahab Gbadamosi, FIRS spokesperson, has also described the massive shake-up as “normal internal staff transfers in FIRS.”

He said it the usual movement of staff carried out by a new management in the Service.

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