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Olufunke Caleb: FIRS – The new team work spirit

In the 21st century, the classification of effective leadership is now based on the possession of leadership of “transversal skills”. Today’s leadership is no longer characterized as an intimidating or oscillating charisma like that of Adolf Hitler. Cross-cutting skills, according to Joana Marques in “Leadership Today”, include purpose, morality, values, vision, authenticity, empathy and emotional intelligence, spirituality and trust, among others.

Proponents of liberal systems such as democracy agree on the importance of teamwork and collective responsibility. They believe that people in a group or organization should work collaboratively and should be able to participate in the decision-making process after which each individual takes responsibility for the decisions made by the group or organization: good or bad.

If you have witnessed any event of the Federal Internal Revenue Service attended by Executive President Muhammad Nami and his management team, you will have noticed a demonstration of emphasis on collective ownership of the decision-making process. Nobody, not even the CEO, takes the glory of a job well done. And Nami doesn’t blame any of his team members if something goes wrong. This is leadership at its best.

After witnessing Nami’s leadership approach to a FIRS event recently, a leadership coach, Linus Okorie, noted that he was inspired by how the President introduced and interacted with the FIRS management team. It was a short show, but it showed the relationship between Nami and each member of the FIRS team. The CEO knows each member of his team by name. He had given each one a funny name to reflect their behavior during management meetings. There is someone who called the class prefect; another was called the precise timekeeper. Nami presents FIRS board and management members as a team where everyone is important, regardless of their position. “This shows teamwork. It’s great and commendable,” Okorie said before starting her presentation on effective leadership.

Building a team with team spirit may seem simple, but it involves complex details. It is necessary to bring together and influence the right people to do their best to achieve the overall goal of the group or organization. It is here that the current FIRS leadership has reached the highest levels and manifests itself in its results in terms of revenue collection despite the challenges of COVID-19.

Nami has two things that work for him: purpose and humility. Regardless of the type of organization you have been nominated for or the level of responsibility assigned to you, leaders in any category must learn to serve a purpose. This is what will guide all the factors of cooperation to achieve the objectives.

Today there is a certain level of public trust towards FIRS compared to what could be obtained from the Service a few years ago. This is because someone who has a well-defined agenda has taken the lead. Nami took over the organization fully prepared and her vision was put in order from the start.

Second, the FIRS President is an unpretentious tax professional. He believes everyone has a role to play and works to bring out the best in everyone. Regardless of the level of knowledge they have acquired, you can hardly capture a good leader by using his intelligence to scourge his followers; instead, he uses his wealth of knowledge to accumulate followers.

Reports from the revenue authority confirmed that Nami was able to bring staff together to work in one direction.

It is instructive to note that Nami was inaugurated with a council. This means that no person, not even the CEO, makes some important decisions alone. The council must sit down to make decisions on critical issues such as project financing, staffing and promotion.

Secondly, Nami took the initiative to rebuild the FIRS structure which consists of six groups led by coordinating directors. The structure was not like that in the recent past. This is making decision making oriented towards FIRS goals. And it’s also good to know that the administration of the service sits to make decisions about how the organization is managed. A good example is how FIRS made some decisions during the Coronavirus block.

FIRS as a tax agency interacts with taxpayers to pay taxes. With the impact of COVID-19 on Nigerian companies, it became clear that people’s livelihoods had been affected; therefore FIRS had to provide some mitigation measures to cushion the effect of the pandemic. It was also necessary to continue to involve taxpayers so that tax revenues did not decrease excessively.

A FIRS statement noted: “During the closure, March 31, 2020, the FIRS administration at a virtual meeting promised to provide palliatives to help taxpayers overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic even when the Service is struggling to increase the country’s revenue. ”

Corrective measures include: Taxpayers can now take advantage of the simple, easy-to-use and robust FIRS electronic filing process to submit their documents online instead of visiting the tax offices. The dedicated email addresses for each of the offices are available on the FIRS website: the late repayment penalty (LRP) does not apply to taxpayers who pay first and file later. The supporting documents can also be sent by e-mail to dedicated e-mail addresses or subsequently sent to the tax offices by those who cannot use the e-mail service; The delivery of VAT by the 21st of each month has been extended until the last day of the month; Taxpayers who face difficulties in finding FOREX to offset their obligations have the option of paying in Naira at the current forex rate for investors and exporters (I&E) on the day of payment.

Others are: The period for submitting PIT declarations for foreign, non-resident, military and police affairs has been extended until 30 June 2020 and field audit visits, investigations and monitoring have been suspended until further notice.

The service also launched a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and took steps to ensure the safety and well-being of staff, taxpayers, stakeholders and visitors.

It is pertinent to recognize that getting a workforce of around 10,000 people from different backgrounds across the country to think and work together in one direction cannot be a tea party. It takes a leader ready to listen to his followers to lead effectively.

Another courageous action undertaken by FIRS led by Nami was the peaceful retirement of staff who had reached and passed the retirement period. It was a bold decision because previous administrations had attempted to do it, but were unwilling to do so.

But realizing that their dream of building a FIRS system that guaranteed career advancement would be hampered, those directors who had served up to eight years or more had to retire peacefully. Nami consulted the board of directors and FIRS management and, after approval, withdrew the staff. This action was applauded by the staff because it gave them relief and hope that they are more likely to be promoted on expiration.

It is no wonder that, in a short period of time in the office, Nami managed to regain FIRS on the growth trajectory. Since taking office late last year, FIRS led by Nami has been able to make some far-reaching decisions and has experienced a number of remarkable results, starting with the organization of the FIRS Management Retreat and also of the Group Retreat for the first time. from the past seven years

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