Enrolling in the federal government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), failure in the payment backlogs seem not the only faceoff between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the government as its Gombe state chapter recently is complaining of high taxation of its members and nonpayment of their entitlements at the Gombe State University (GSU).
On a courstey visit to the Gombe state governor, Inuwa Yahaya, Prof. Ade Adejumo, ASUU Zonal Coordinator, Ibadan zone, who led a delegation of the Union, listed some of the issues facing their members at the state varsity which he highlighted to be; over taxation, non-payment of allowances and poor funding of infrastructure.
The academic enthusiast further said that though the issues had been presented by the local union to the government, they were yet to receive any feedback, hence the appeal for the government to do the needful.
He also appealed to the state government to improve the condition of service of ASUU members in the state, especially in the area of welfare.
Catch highlights of his speech as deduced by Taxmobile.Online:
“We have the issue of abnormally high tax regime going on here, the issue of taxation is very clear. There are peculiar allowances that you do not even touch; allowances that are not even enough for our members to carry out their responsibilities as researchers are still being heavily taxed.
“Accumulated EAA for our members has not been addressed, talks have been going on for years with promises,” he said.
He finally called on the state government to embark on capital projects at GSU, rather than relying “solidly on Tetfund” and other interventions, for the infrastructural needs of the institution.
The governor also had his say
In his response, Gov Yahaya said he had noted the issues raised, adding that his administration was academia-friendly.
He said he was part of the team that set up the University, being the commissioner of finance at the time, hence he wouldn’t do anything now to destroy what he was part of from inception.
Yahaya said his administration inherited a backlog of ASSU earned allowances, and other outstanding liabilities, and the heavy burden of debt they had to service, stressing that despite these, the government had managed to pay ASUU salaries for the last 10 months, while they were on strike, within the limited resources of the state and the COVID–19 pandemic.
On the issue of tax, he said:
“Each state has its tax tables, which conforms to the National guideline, there is nothing bad in it. If we are going to evade tax, how could we generate money that we use to do all this, how could you even get any increment.
“On one side you demand less tax which is lesser than the one that the federal ASUU is being charged. And on the other hand, you are demanding for more money; I do not know how we can reconcile this,” he said,
Taxmobile.Online gathered from NAN that the governor, however, assured the delegation that his administration would start the implementation of the new minimum wage by the end of January.