- Civil servants from an agency under the Ministry of Labour and Employment have expressed concern about planned salary cuts
- The employees allege that a new tax scheme is a ploy to deduct their pay from August
- However, the federal government claims that the deductions are the consequence of an unpaid tax backlog
Staff at the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) have begun protesting management's purported plan to withdraw parts of their salaries under a scheme called "tax deductions" beginning in August 2022.
The agency, which is part of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, guarantees that all employers of labour follow the federal government's effort to safeguard and provide for its employees in the case of work-related accidents and injuries.
NSITF also ensures that all employers are duly registered with the fund, are up-to-date with their contributions, and provide safe working environments.
DailyTrust reports that the staff are not buying the propositions from NSITF and described the development as “dubious and fraudulent tax deductions”.
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One of the staff alleged that the move by the management of NSITF would rip off over 5,000 staff billions of naira.
He also said the management, led by the Managing Director (MD), Michael Akabogu, had concluded plans to deduct between N200,000 and N500,000 from each staff, depending on their level, and there is approval from the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
He further said:
“NSITF’s management has promised to resume the deductions of the fraudulent taxes from our salaries for the next 12 months; starting from August, 2022.
“We received a memo early this year informing us that the minimum wage arrears will be paid in three tranches.”
NSITF denies allegation
Akabogu NSITF boss, when contacted, however, dismissed the allegations, saying that many staff of the fund had been evading taxes.
Speaking through the agency's spokesperson, Ijeoma Oji-Okoronkwo, he emphasized that no member of staff was penalised by the deductions and that they were just requested to settle tax arrears.
“For instance, if my tax is N100,000 and I have been paying N50,000, I have been asked to pay the balance. Of course, you know that tax evasion is punishable by law. They are only making a mountain out of a molehill because these are taxes that we owe and we must pay.”
FG releases names of 19,847 companies that can apply for its contract in 2022
In another report, the Federal Government produced a list of 19,847 Nigerian firms eligible to bid on ministry contracts.
The list was produced based on companies' compliance with employee pensions and insurance.
The companies listed are from media to health and agriculture, and banks among several others