18 December 2012

Nigeria: Aregbesola, Workers On Collision Course Over New Taxes

Osogbo — Osun State government and its workforce are set for a show-down following the alleged introduction of a new tax regime by the government, which workers have vowed to resist.

Workers in the employment of the state government have also condemned the employment of a consultancy firm, CHAMS Plc allegedly employed by the state government for electronic payment of salaries.

In a letter dated 17th December, 2012 addressed to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, called on the state government to urgently reduce the tax regime.

They said any attempt to force workers to pay any form of tax arrears will be seen as direct attack on the workers.

The letter which was signed by the chairman and secretary of Joint Public Service Negotiation Coincil I, II & III, also rejected the resolve of the state government to use consultancy firm for salary automation payroll both for serving and retired public officers.

Comrade Bayo Adejumo amd Comrade Akinyemi Olatunji signed for Joint Negotiation Council (JNC), Comrade O. F. Adetunji and Comrade Kayode Adepoju for TUC and Comrade Saka Adesiyan and Comrade G. A. Bolarinwa endorsed the letter on behalf of NLC.

The labour unions also described the contributory pension sheme introduced by the state government as a ruse, saying that since the inception of their participation in the scheme, the generality of workers are yet to receive any alert as regards both personal and government contributions.

But in a swift reaction, the state Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Dr. Wale Bolorunduro debunked plan by the government to hike tax in the state, saying that tax is a federal legislation and that no state in the federation has the power to legislate on it.

He said: "We don't have any tax regime that is different from the Federal Government according to the constitution of Nigeria."

On the automation salary pay roll, Dr. Bolorunduro said that "the state government introduced it in order to reduce processing period and minimize human interference as well.

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