Leadership (Abuja)

4 December 2012

Nigeria: LUTH Doctors Begin Three Days Warning Strike Over Tax Deduction

Doctors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, on Tuesday began a three-day warning strike over alleged abnormal tax deductions from their salaries.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the doctors, under the aegis of Association of Resident Doctors, claimed that LUTH management had been deducting huge amount from their monthly salaries as tax.

An executive of the association, who pleaded anonymity, said that the executives had held meetings with the management demanding an explanation and the need to stop the deductions, but had yielded no result.

"There was a new tax regime in which over 20 per cent was being deducted monthly from our salaries as tax, which is quite a lot of money.

"We have met with the management severally but they told us it was not a LUTH management decision and that it was a Federal Government Tax Law.

"We decided to channel our demands through the strike just to send a message to the management that we are not comfortable with the abnormal tax deduction," he said.

He said that the warning strike would be suspended on Thursday, after which the situation would be reviewed.

Prof. Akin Osibogun, the hospital's Chief Medical Director, confirmed the development, saying that the tax deduction was as a result of the new income tax law.

Osibogun said: "People need to be properly educated on tax payment and adapt to it as obtained in western countries.

"Tax is an annual payment and the institution must complete payment before the end of the year to avoid penalty."

He said that the tax deductions were usually made in January and if not deducted in full, it would be deducted in full before the end of December.

"As an institution, we cannot afford to breach the law, if there is a tax law, we have to implement the law.

"We are having dialogue with the union, looking at all the details they gave and seeing whether everything is in accordance with the tax law.

"We are also discussing with the Lagos State Tax Office just to be sure that we are in compliance with the tax law of Nigeria," Osibogun said. NAN

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