We had effective structure, functional system before your appointment, Ex-KWIRS Chairman says

Kehinde Emmanuel, ilorin

A former Director, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Kwara State Internal Revenue Services, (KWIRS) Mr. Olalekan Rotimi, said there were effective structure and functional system in place in the agency before the assumption of office by the current Chairman of KWIRS, Mrs. Shade Omoniyi.

Omoniyi had been reported by a medium that she met a system that was unstructured with over 900 workers, that the system was not strategic and that there was no automation in the system.

Omoniyi was quoted to have said, “The structure I met was more like creating jobs for people, rather than it being a strategic structure. There was a lot of lop-sidedness, so I had to reduce the number. I think direct reports to the Executive Chairman were about 26. I reduced that to nine. We had some job functions that should be departments, that were directorates, as the case may be. I created five directorates and four direct reports to the Executive Chairman. The Executive Chairman’s office is effectively a directorate on its own. That means we have six directorates now of which the Executive Chairman is heading one.

“We have automation already, that was the impression that I was given but I came into the service, and apparently there was nothing. There was a system but the system was not working. You are supposed to add value. If you don’t add value, then what are we talking about, it’s not making any sense.”

But Olalekan, countered the Chairman and insisted that there had been a functional and effective structure as well as automation in the agency before Omoniyi assumed duties.

He stated that the agency would not have gotten ISO 9001 and 22301 certifications by PECB Canada, if it did not have a functional and effective structure and automation.

His response was contained in his write-up titled: “My KWIRS memoir.”

Olalekan said, “I have watched from a distance and made unsolicited excuses for the failures of the present management of KWIRS, because I thought to myself that ‘learning on the job comes with the passage of time,’ well I reckon this is for those who incline their hearts to learning without prejudice to their lack of qualification(s) for the office they occupy.

“I have heard comments/remarks about how we (the pioneer management team of Kwara State Internal Revenue Service) did not leave anything good and lay bad foundations for the present management, but I regarded those comments as side talks and I don’t kick at rumours. But on Sunday 7th November 2021 I read the interview granted by the Executive Chairman Kwara State Internal Revenue Service to one of the most reputable Newspapers “Thisday Newspaper”. Where she was quoted to have said, when she resumed office in October 2019, there was no structure in KWIRS and even the staffs were just mere job creation.

“My first reaction was “hush!!! too much pettiness” and did not even think any of these assertions is worth defending, as posterity and time will tell and typically these people will deny the existence of a state called KWARA, besides I also felt if the people we (pioneer top management) worked with are still in the service which includes a director and they all feel comfortable and satisfied with the lies, so be it. After all, only 5 of us left out of the said 900 workforce as of 2019 when we left office. Then I realized they dare not because they are still in the paid employment of the service. I know they were conscripted to take oaths when this management came on board. Well, that’s a story for another day.

“But for the benefits of those who do not know and to put on proper records, I wish to correct all the malicious insinuations and offer my candid advise to the present management.

Because like a porter won’t watch anyone destroy his handiwork, I Olalekan Rotimi would not watch another destroy all that was diligently built for four good solid years. And will be prepared to constructively engage anytime.

“It will be recalled that the last administration took the bull by the horns to restructure the then revenue mobilization process, thus the defunct Board of Internal Revenue was replaced with Kwara State Internal Revenue Service through the enactment of Kwara State Revenue

Administration Law 2015. It takes a visionary leader to see through the horizon and take such a strategic decision at the time in 2015. We were all witnesses to how that decision saved Kwara State when the monthly Federal Account and Allocation Committee dues dropped from an average N3bn/N4B to an average of N1.6/N1.8 monthly and the state had to fall back on its internally generated revenue (IGR) for in fractural development.

“I was one of the 7 (seven) pioneer top management staff of the service, led by Prof Muritala Awodun through a recruitment and selection process by Mazars Consulting; the process that was advertised and devoid of the usual interest politics and family affairs. Let me also state that prior to my resumption, I had only met 2 of my colleagues, Mr. Olaide Mohammed, whom I met when he was in Kwara State Property Development Company (KIPDC) and I was with Ogun State Investment Company (Gateway Holdings Ltd) and of course Mrs. Adenike Babajamu, my sister way back. I remember Dr. Isaac Gbenle got the job in the United State.

“I joined as a Deputy Director and got promoted to a full Director; purely on merit. “Pronto we set out from a small flat assigned to us. The seven of us took pains and drafted/crafted/formulated the Vision and Mission of the Service in 2015, We were deliberate about building an organization that has culture and that was why everyone recruited went through a minimum of 2 weeks of training to drill down the organizational cultures.

“I reckon the present Executive Chairman does not understand these Vision and Mission Statements, which forms the present staffs “culture” little wonder there has been conflicts between management and staffs severally. I won’t be surprised if they have also removed these inscriptions and By-lines that were hung on the wall; like they allegedly maliciously removed picture messages. Perhaps they need to be told that those inscriptions are engraved on the heart of those staff and today they know the difference.

“I am bold and proud to say, ‘We ran an all-inclusive and open-door organization, where all staff were free to speak at the monthly field feedbacks.’ That has since been killed.

“As the Director Tax Assessment and Tax Audit in the year 2018, I and my colleagues at the directorate produced the 1st directorate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and all Directorates did afterward.

“I am still shocked that anyone will wake to up say “KWIRS has no structure.” This is not only falsehood but an open denial of facts. Bishop David Oyedepo once said ‘only fools doubt proofs,’ and a Yoruba profound adage says “ bi oni rese o ti le fin igba mo, eyi to fin sile o le parun.” Literarily translated, ‘if the calabash maker stops making calabash, the ones he has made cannot be destroyed.’

“For the records, we did not only leave four (4) New Office Complex built within our 4 year-tenure, we left also a well-structured organisation with well-documented work process and flows in line with best practice.

“Our decision to go for ISO 9001 and 22301 by PECB Canada was deliberate and based on the premonition that someday, an in-experience/vindictive person will assume the office when we leave and today we are now vindicated by the actions and inactions of this management.

“As of today, I practice as a tax advisor and have worked with many tax authorities in Nigeria am very proud to say KWIRS remains the only Tax Authority in Nigeria that has its processes ISO Certified and with profound respect have been to several Tax authority offices and have seen both physical structures and organizational structures. I make bold to say I am proud of our legacies at KWIRS.”