Nami shakes FIRS, redeploys many directors in massive shake-up

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The new executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami has approved the redeployment of top directors in the agency.

An inside source hinted NewMailNG that at least 50 directors, deputy directors, assistant directors and over 100 other staff of the agency were affected in the major shake-up.

The transfers, it was gathered, was a means of shaping the agency along the lines Mani believes could fetch the N8.5 trillion target for 2020.

While some of the directors were said to have moved up in relevance and ranking, a senior official was sent out of the agency while a new director also joined the service.

A director, who recently retired from the service, said the move is also a means of placing Mani’s “own ministers” at strategic positions so he could move very fast.

Affected were Cyriacus Ekechi, the erstwhile coordinating director of compliance enforcement group, who became the transition lead of compliance support group; Aishiekh Maidugu, director, planning reporting and statistics, who is now special assistant on special duties to the executive chairman; Femi Oluwaniyi, director debt management, who is now transition lead, domestic taxes group.

Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS
Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS

Others are Kudu Mohammed, assistant director, project management office (e-services), who is now special advisor to the executive chairman — a position said to have been occupied by Abiodun Aina, former acting chairman, who is now coordinating director, domestic taxes group and Abdullahi Ismaila, special assistant on service and communication to the FIRS chairman.

A circular dated December 31, 2019, signed by Victor Ekundayo, director of human capital management department, said the five along with the executive chairman will constitute the interim management team.

Ekundayo has, however, been moved to the career and skills development department. Innocent Ohagwa of the special tax audit, Lagos, replaced Ekundayo; Gbolaga Oshiga, formerly of Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, was moved to revenue house Abuja as director of tax audit; while Mohammed Abubakar, former coordinating director of tax appeal tribunal is now secretary, joint tax board (JTB).

Oseni Elamah, former secretary of JTB and former chairman of Edo state internal revenue service, got no alternative posting. Sanni Dahiru, an assistant director at the state coordinator’s office in charge of Kogi, FCT and Nasarawa replaced Mohammed Abubakar. Pam Davou, director and state coordinator in charge of Kano, Katsina and Jigawa states, was asked to come in as director of collections at the headquarters.

Najim Ajila, the former director of audit replaced Oluwaniyi in debt collection, while Joel Ogohi, a deputy director replaced Oshiga as state coordinator for Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu states.

Others moved include David Ogedemgbe, head large tax audit, who is now state coordinator, Lagos Island; Shetimma Tamadi, a deputy director from the office of the state coordinator, Benue Kaduna and Niger, and now state coordinator for the three states; Lucky Chukwu, a deputy director, head oil and gas (downstream) is now head, large tax audit.

Umar Galadanchi of large tax office, Kano, is the new state coordinator of Kano, Jigawa and Katsina; Muazu Garba, assistant director of training school, is the new coordinator for oil and gas (downstream); Etsu Madami, state coordinator for Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara moved to Borno, Plateau, Bauchi and Yobe in the same position; Peter Alfred, assistant director, large tax office in Lagos, is now head special tax audit; Yerima Silas, assistant director, large tax office Lagos (non-oil) moved to Kano to head the large tax audit office. Four other managers were also moved.

Adebayo Kayode, director of investigations, was moved to special investigations department; while Idris Ndanusa, a fresh director, was hired and posted to internal affairs department. Chukwuemeka Obiagwu, formerly of enforcement department is now in the enforcement unit, office of the executive chairman. Ozavize Winfrul, a deputy director of the compliance unit in the chairman’s office, has moved to compliance research.

Simon Kato, a deputy director and special assistant, office of the chairman moved to domestic taxes group. Odekunle Oluwatoyin, an assistant director and former chief of staff to the former executive chairman, was transferred to enforcement unit in the office of the transition lead enforcement and compliance group while Maupatin Olatundun, former special adviser to the executive chairman was moved to tax audit department. Olufemi Akinfala, former head, research and development department was moved to planning research and statistics department.

Oyebanji Matthew, deputy director of special tax audit, Lagos, became tax controller oil and gas; Muazu Garba, an assistant director, tax controller oil and gas (downstream) was moved to tax investigation department. Orebanjo Adebola, an assistant director at relationship management unit, Lagos, was moved to large tax office, non oil, and Aniko Emmanuel was also moved to large tax oil and gas.

Two other assistant directors, Oluwa Badmus and Oluola Adedayo were moved from relationship management unit to state coordinator’s office, while most staff of the relationship management unit — said to be a creation of Tunde Fowler, former chairman, were also transferred.

An assistant director confirmed that more transfers and movements will come as Mani strengthens his hold on the FIRS.

“These transfers are normal. When Fowler also came, he moved people on a continuous basis until he was comfortable to do the job,” the assistant director said.

“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 the 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.”

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