By Chioma Godwin
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP), has described as humongous and unbearable the current tax charged to its members since IPPIS was introduced in February 2020 as the new system for salary payment.
SSANIP also said that IPPIS has meted untold hardship to its members, and noted 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 the basic salaries, therefore calling on IPPIS and other relevant Government Agencies to expeditiously take appropriate action and calculate taxes of members based on basic salary rather than consolidated salary as it is being currently done.
“Similarly, the act of taxing earned allowances, especially those peculiar to the Polytechnic sub-sector as being currently done by the IPPIS is unprofessional, non-conventional and therefore questionable. It is on this premise that the Council-in-session demanded that the IPPIS should stop taxing of earned allowances forthwith.
“Furthermore, the Council wished to admonish the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) to desist from the planned action to illegally delve into the legitimate emoluments of our members in a guise to claim the tax liabilities in the interest of industrial harmony.”
Contained in a communique signed by its National President and National Ag. Secretary, Comrade P.A Ogunsipe and Comrade E. Emmanuel, respectively, after a General Executive Council (GEC) Meeting and Special Delegates Conference held on Wednesday 7th and Thursday, 8th April, 2021 at Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde Hall, Labour House and Nigerian Merit Award House, Abuja, the Association went on to express it displeasure on what it considered as “Federal Government’s failure to re-constitute Governing Councils for the Federal Polytechnics since 11th May, 2020 when the tenure of the last Council expired, and some State Governments who are yet to constitute and inaugurate Governing Councils for their respective Polytechnics.
While it noted that constituting and inauguration of the Governing Councils for the Polytechnics are still being continuously delayed despite the concerted efforts with which it has engaged the Federal Ministry of Education and other relevant Agencies of the Government at different fora over the issue, SSANIP further stated that “non-availability of the Council to perform its statutory roles as enshrined in Section 7 of the Federal Polytechnics Act of 2019 (as amended) has continued to affect the general management and operation of the Polytechnics.
“It is on the basis of the above, that the Council-in-session is urgently demanding for the immediate re-constitution and inauguration of Governing Councils for all Federal Polytechnics without further delay to allow for smooth running of the Polytechnics.”
Other issues and demand of the Polytechnics Senior Staff Association in the communique includes; “Delay in the Release of Promotion Arrears for Federal and States owned Polytechnics: The delay in the release of all promotion arrears was equally frowned at during the session of the Council. The relevant Agencies of the Governments are hereby advised to expedite actions on the modalities for quick release of all outstanding promotion arrears. Of a particular reference is that of Federal Polytechnic, Oil & Gas, Bonny, Rivers State that has refused to promote staff since inception.
“Non-Release of Minimum Wage Arrears: The Council-in-session expressed its dismay over the continued non-release of the last Minimum Wage arrears to the workers in the Federal Polytechnics. The Council observed that in spite of the fact that some MDAs have long enjoyed these arrears and coupled with the unrelenting efforts of the Union, the arrears of our members are yet to be released. In view of the above, the Council demands that the Minimum Wage arrears of our members in the Federal Polytechnics should be released without further delay to avoid industrial disharmony.
“Non-Implementation of Minimum Wage in the State owned Institutions:The Council-in-session observed that many State Governments are yet to implement the New Minimum Wage in their respective Institutions. In the considered opinion of the Council, this is long overdue and therefore embarrassing to the State Governments concerned. The Council-in-session therefore demands that the affected States should as a matter of urgency address this issue in the interest of industrial harmony.
“Non-Implementation of 65 Years Retirement Age by some State owned Polytechnics: The Council-in-session noticed that despite the elongation of the retirement age from 60 to 65 years for the Polytechnic staff as contained in the relevant documents that guide the conducts and operations of the Polytechnics, some State owned Polytechnics are yet to implement the 65-year Retirement Age.Against this background, the Council demands that the States owned Polytechnics concerned should expeditiously implement the approved 65-Year Retirement Age for their staff without further delay in the interest of industrial harmony.
“Non-Release of Union Dues by State owned Polytechnics: The Council-in-session noticed that some State owned Polytechnics are not faithful towards the release of deducted Union dues. In the considered opinion of the Council, this is a deliberate attempt to illegally stifle the Union and ground its activities to a halt. The Council-in-session, against this backdrop hereby admonishes the States and the Institutions concerned to stop this unfortunate act and release the accrued backlogs without further delay. Management of such affected institutions should not lose sight of the inalienable fact that the Union due is a part of members’ salaries sacrificed for their welfare. In addition, the affected Management should realize that such act of refusal to remit deducted Union dues is illegal, as contained in the relevant provisions of the Labour Law.
“Non-Implementation of Needs Assessment Report of 2014: The Council-in-sessionexpressed its dismay over the non-implementation of Needs Assessment Report of 2014. Consequently, the Polytechnics are in dire need of the required facilities and infrastructures needed for adequate impartation of knowledge and skills on the students.
“Usurpation of Non-Teaching Staff Positions by some Polytechnic Management:The Council expressed its disappointment over the deliberate act of some Polytechnics’Management to usurp the posts of Non-Teaching staff to the benefit of Teaching staff which is at variance with the extant Conditions and Scheme of Service. In the opinion of the Council, this unfortunate act is also a flagrant disobedience to the relevant circular of NBTE which mandated the affected Institutions to return the usurped offices/posts to the Non-Teaching cadres. The Council therefore warns that, in the event of continued blatant refusal to do the needful, the Union would not hesitate to take appropriate actions.
“Engagement of Consultancy Services in the running of the Polytechnics: The Council noted the unfortunate development regarding the act of engaging Consultants to serve as the approving authority for the finances of the Institutions in Oyo State. This is affecting the smooth running of all Tertiary Educational Institutions in the State. The Council considers this unlawful and a blatant violation of the autonomy clause of the Polytechnic Edict. Against this backdrop, the Council urges the State Government to rescind the decision urgently to avoid industrial disharmony.”