Following the revelation that some staff of the Imo Internal Revenue Service IIRS were sexually harassed and the disclosure that there is alleged massive diversion of the state’s internally generated revenue, the Interim chairman of the agency, Dr Okeke is alleged to have, at the instance of the Commissioner for Finance Dr Doris Anite ordered the sack of over thirty staff of the revenue agency.
It was gathered that before now, those who are at the management cadre, including the Director of Finance, had been deployed to the ministries while a confidant of the Chairman who is among the 18 people deployed to the IIRS, formerly called the Board of Internal Revenue in questionable circumstances has taken over the position of Director of Finance which should under normal circumstances be occupied by a thorough bred carrier civil servant who is knowledgeable in Finance and administration. “But that is not the case at the moment. Besides most of those deployed to the IIRS by the commissioner do not owe allegiance to the State government because they are not career civil servants and didn’t swear oaths of office as stipulated in the civil service guidelines and rules guiding the establishment and operations of IIRS.”
According to another source, “while this is ongoing, the management is secretly employing people who they are now paying peanuts against the normal civil salary range, even when there is no waiver for employment. As if adding insult to injury, the revenue base of the state is dwindling contrary to claims by the management at inception that they will raise N3billion naira monthly as IGR.”
It was gathered that 15 staff of the agency were issued queries which many people say were hinged on frivolous allegations aimed at achieving prearranged sinister motive. Moveso, when 15 of those issued queries are males and 10 of them females allegation contained in the queries.”
Narrating his ordeal recently, the Enugu correspondent of the Nation Newspaper, Damian Duruiheoma complained bitterly about how he paid for vehicle number plate in December last year and uptil date, he is yet to get it. He wondered how the agency will raise the N3Billion monthly target they claimed if they keep collecting money from people without rendering commensurate service.
Aside Damian, other people who also complained about the poor service delivery of the management and staff of IIRS noted that, “unlike other places where vehicle number plates are obtained within 24 hours, it takes months to obtain one at the office ofIIRS. This is causing problems for the people and the revenue generating agency.”
It was also gathered that while journalists in line with their constitutional role of holding those in authority at all levels accountable to the people are highlighting and bringing issues of alleged irregularities, official misconduct and fraud said to be perpetrated at the IIRS to the front burner of public discourse with a view to addressing them, the management of the agency is said to be planning to clamp down and put the media houses out of business by issuing them selective and unrealistic demand notices as an act of vendetta.
When contacted, the Human resource Manager,HRM Mrs Chika who was accused of carrying out hatchet jobs for the management targetted at shortchangig IIRS staff acknowledged that queries were issued staff of IIRS and explained why the establishment had to take such measures.
According to her, the decision is part of measures to restore discipline and productivity in IIRS.She noted that the affected staff are being queried for unethical conducts which is a standard practice, adding that no organization will tolerate indolence at work place.