No government policy has raised more dust in the education sector than the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS since its 2007 creation by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, OAGF, and full implementation in 2016 by the President Buhari administration.
Initial controversies as promoted by the Academic Staff Union of Nigeria, ASSU is that on full integration, IPPIS will be an infringement on universities’ right to autonomy. The latest of such controversies is by Polytechnic Workers on issues that hinge on tax deduction, tagging it ‘unbearable’.
Polytechnic workers nationwide under the aegis of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, SSANIP have accredited what it described as ‘huge taxes’ deducted from salaries of members as the aftermath of IPPIS commencement.
The union stated that since the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System took over the payment of salaries in February 2020, the tax regime has increased with untold hardship on its members.
Reason for the increased tax burden
Following its general executive council meeting and special delegates conference recently held in Abuja, SSANIP in a communiqué signed by its National President, Philip Ogunsipe, and acting National Secretary, Enyiegor Emmanuel highlighted that the reason for the tax hike is based on the erroneous calculation of taxes on basic salary rather than consolidated salary as it is being currently done.
Also, the group stated that the failure of state governments to constitute and inaugurate the Governing Councils for their respective polytechnics had contributed to the tax irregularity due to ineffective management and operation of polytechnics affected.
Below snippets of the communiqué
“The council-in-session observed that since the IPPIS took over the payment of members’ salaries in February 2020, the tax regime has increased unbearably with untold hardship on members.
“The union further observed that the singular factor that gave reason for the regressive tax is the erroneous calculation of the tax based on the consolidated salaries rather than basic salaries.
Going down memory lane
Before its implementation, salaries were paid into the accounts of the different Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) for disbursement. Over 300,000 federal employees have been enrolled in the IPPIS package since 2016.
In 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered that salaries should be paid only to civil servants on the automated payroll; the order took effect in October of the same year.
Since implementation at various federal MDAs, the system which integrates and harmonises salary payment has reportedly exposed hundreds of ghost workers. Over 80,000 ghost workers exposed after the system was introduced in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in 2018 is a case in point.