By Sarauniya Usman, Abuja
Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) has debunked the claims by tertiary institutions unions, led by ASUU, that IPPIS was deducting their salaries and allowances to the extent that their take home is now only 50% or less of what they earn.
OAGF, debunk all claims in a statement made available by Director, Information, Press and Public Relations, Henshaw Ogubike.
The statement read: “It is pertinent that the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) puts the records straight for 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 also states, it is important to note that all states governments of the federation made claims on the federal government to pay the differential arising from underpayment of tax by these institutions.
According to the statement, 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 formalise 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% 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 contribution are refundable with interest either at retirement or exit from being an employee of the federal government.
It said, 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.
Similarly,another issue raised by the unions is the Employees’ Pension Contribution deductions. Employees’ Pension Contribution 7.5%
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.
On payment of allowances, it should be stated that this is based on the salary structure as approved by Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (SIWC). However, the OAGF has advised the tertiary institutions academic unions to approach the Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (SIWC) to formalise any agreement on salaries and allowances that they claim to have been approved for them.
“It said It is the responsibility of the Institutions or Agencies to inform the IPPIS office about death, resignation or exit from service before due date. We sent payroll analysis to the tertiary institution Bursars for review of any omission or names to be excluded”.
“This issue is a cheap propaganda by ASUU to denigrate IPPIS for obvious reasons. Mention must be made here that good spirited members of the union personally wrote to inform this office of their not being entitled to February salary payment and requested for account to refund the salary” it stated.
The OAGF wishes to assure all the tertiary institution staff that we are always willing and ready to serve them as best as possible, but we plead for their understanding and cooperation.