The two labour unions at the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have reassured Nigerians, the Federal Government and FIRS management that they will ensure that the N8.8 trillion revenue target for 2019 is realised.
Comrade Okere Samson, Chairman, FIRS chapter of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), and Comrade Idris Hassan of the Nigerian Civil Service Union, (NCSU) (FIRS chapter), gave the assurance during the week after their meetings with FIRS Chairman, Tunde Fowler. According to public notices circulated by the unions to FIRS staff, the FIRS Chairman has raised the level of staff welfare and unfolded a slew of pro-staff decisions that will enable staff to realise their individual and organizational goals.
Fowler jerked up subsistence allowance from 20 per cent to 30 per cent, (it was 10 per cent before the Chairman’s appointment in 2015), pegged payment of Key Performance Indicators at 70 per cent instead of 80 per cent for non-oil tax receipts, directed expedited payment of first 28 Days Movement Allowances to staff on transfer, approved meal, children education and maintenance grants –once staff meet target and attain some consensus on the vacancies for 2018 and 2019 promotion exercises.
Apart from increase of subsistence allowance, staff have also been paid wardrobe allowances, while quarterly bonus on met or exceeded target in revenue collection, 13th month salary and payment of equity contribution to benefiting staff of the FIRS Mass Housing Scheme have also been approved. An amount has been provided in the 2019 budget to this effect.
In the two documents circulated to all staff titled “Update on Staff Matters, signed by Comrade Samson and another co-signed by Comrades Hassan and Jimoh Idowu, the two unions rededicated their commitment and that of their members to the realisation of the N8.8 trillion target of the Service.
The documents detailed staff welfare issues discussed at a meeting between the two unions and FIRS Management held on 6th June and another held on 10th June 2019 as well as resolutions reached.
Comrade Hassan said: “This is to inform FIRS Staff that following continuous engagement between Nigeria Civil Service Union, (NCSU) and Management of the FIRS, Management has been able to address most of the issues raised like increment of subsistence allowance to 30 %, reduction of KPI (Key Performance Indicators) benchmark from 80 % to 70% of non-oil, and payment of terminal benefits to staff among others,” he said.
In another document titled “Matters Arising from the NCSU Meeting with Management”, Comrade Hassan said “Based on the above, the Union hereby implores all staff to be of good behaviour, remain dedicated and hardworking in order to achieve the set revenue target for the Service. We, the Executive of NCSU assure our members and entire staff of the Service of our support and also continue to engage Management for better welfare and reward hard work. We equally assure Management of our continuous support as partners in progress towards the actualisation of the goals and objectives of the Service.”
Chairman of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) counselled the staff to work harder towards ensuring that the Service realises its 2019 revenue target, while the union keeps engaging the Management to always appreciate and reward staff for hard work.
On proposed staff grants such as meal subsidies, children’s education and furniture maintenance grants, Samson said that the FIRS Chairman has directed the Director Human Capital to implement the payment of the grants once the FIRS attains 70 per cent of its non-oil revenue target after the third quarter of the year.
All outstanding severance benefits to retired staff have been approved for payment to staff that exited the Service since November 2018, while the FIRS Chairman directed that more working tools such as printers, laptops and furniture be provided by Directors in charge of Facility and Efficiency to ensure timely distribution of such tools to field offices.
On the 2018 and 2019 promotion exercise, the FIRS Chairman, Mr. Tunde Fowler stated Samson, directed the association to meet with the Director, Human Capital Management Department for a review of the promotion vacancies and revert to the Management for approval. Specifically on those who passed but were not accommodated on account of vacancies, the NCSU Chairman, Comrade Idris Hassan said the “Chairman (Fowler) directed the Union to liaise with the Director Human Capital and Director, Legal to work out modality on how to resolve the issues within the ambit and provisions of the laws and the HRPP, (Human Resources Policies and Processes).
The FIRS Chairman assured staff that all outstanding severance benefits to retired staff have been approved for payment to staff that exited the Service since November 2018.