…IPPIS has brought untold hardship on us —SSANU
….Says FG has stopped Earned Allowances, Peculiar Allowances
…We’ll address all your challenges —FG
By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief, & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, OAGF, has accused the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, of resisting the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS, in order to evade tax.
ASUU on Sunday, blamed the Account-General of instigating the federal government to imposed the IPPIS on its members.
This came on a day Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, said the enrollment of its members in the IPPIS scheme has brought hardship on them.
The OAGF in a statement by, Henshaw Ogubike, Director, Information, Press and Public Relations, in a statement, yesterday, dismissed the claim by ASUU and other unions in the nation’s tertiary institutions that deductions from their salaries through the IPPIS had reduced their income by as much as 50 per cent.
The statement read: “It is pertinent that the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, OAGF, puts the records straight in the interest of the general public and majority of staff of tertiary institutions that have displayed unparalleled understanding and cooperated with IPPIS till date. We hereby state as follows:
“The Pay As You Earn, PAYE, Tax is a statutory tax deductions paid by all salary earners. IPPIS applied the correct rate in compliance with Section 34 of the 6th schedule on personal income tax (Amendment) Act of 2011. Prior to migration to IPPIS, the rate of tax being applied by tertiary institutions was not correct, leading to underpayment of PAYE Tax.
“It is important to note that all state governments of the federation made claims on the federal government to pay the differential arising from underpayment of tax by these institutions.
READ ALSO: IPPIS: ASUU mobilises members for strike
‘’The federal government has paid several billions on behalf of these institutions because of their underpayment of PAYE Tax. The request by the tertiary institution unions to formalize tax evasion through IPPIS is not only untenable, but unpatriotic request to violate extant laws on tax.
“NHF Deductions: The National Housing Fund (NHF) is 2.5 per cent of basic salary. This is another statutory contribution backed by the Act of National Assembly. This is a savings contribution by all federal employees to enable them have access to short life loans to own their personal houses.
“These savings contributions are refundable with interest either at retirement or exit from being an employee of the federal government.
“The ASUU is bringing claims that those laws should not be applicable to them and thereby should be exempted or be made optional for them. The request for breach of Act of Parliament is not within the ambit of the IPPIS or the, OAGF. They have been advised to approach the National Assembly for amendment of the Act.
“Another issue raised by the unions is the Employees’ Pension Contribution deductions. Employees’ Pension Contribution 7.5 per cent.
“The ASUU claim that the Employee Contributory Pension should be based on basic salary and not on consolidated salary and it has increased their employee deductions, thereby reducing their take home.
“ This is a penny wise argument not expected from Ivory Tower. The Consolidated salary is what is applicable to determine employee’s contribution of all Federal employees’ as Salaries Income and Wages Commission, SIWC, has consolidated salary without the composition.
Meanwhile, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, has said that the enrollment of its members in the Federal Government introduced Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, has brought them hardship.
SSANU lamented that the government has withdrawn payments of their earned allowances and peculiar allowances since the introduction of IPPIS, thereby making life difficult for them during this period of lockdown.
But the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has told the University non teaching staff to exercise patience, saying that were being made to address the challenges.