Kamarudeen Ogundele, Ado Ekiti
Labour unions in tertiary institutions in Ekiti State have called for downward review of taxes because of the present economic condition of the nation.
The unions said workers were already battling with accumulated unpaid salaries, wondering why the government wanted to make life more difficult for them.
In a communiqué issued after its maiden meeting under the umbrella of Joint Action Committee of the Unions of Higher Institutions in Ekiti State on Friday, the unions said the proposal by the State Government to start implementing 100 percent tax deduction was “burdensome and totally unacceptable. ”
The President, Academic Staff Union of Universities, Ekiti State University branch, Prof. Olu-Olu Olufayo, who read the communique to journalists on behalf of the unions, said workers would vehemently resist the plan.
He advised government to set up a joint negotiation committee with the institutions for a downward review of the taxes.
“The unions frowned on Government’s decision to start implementing the obnoxious and draconian tax deduction due to the economic crisis ravaging the nation.
“This action is considered oppressive and highly condemnable at a period the government should be thinking of meeting her responsibilities of prompt payment of salaries to her workers.”
Olufayo disclosed that the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, had paid over N90m to the coffers of the state government within nine months.
He added, “The Ekiti State Government should stop immediately the planned deduction of this arbitrary tax from the subvention/grant of the state owned intuitions.
“The state government should stop harassing any tertiary institution in the state on tax issue pending the final outcome of the negotiation between this body and the government.
“During the regime of former governor Kayode Fayemi, we had the same issue and we negotiated. Project supervision, journey allowance and hazard allowance should not be taxed. We are not even getting full value for project supervision. Tax the basics not the allowances.
“That failure of the state government and management of various institutions to comply with the above resolutions of the unions would be vehemently resisted.”