The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may be poised for another showdown with the Federal Government if the raging issue of taxation on university unions are not settled quickly.
University administrators are reportedly requesting Tax Identification Number (TIN) from union branches and there have been check-off dues and cooperative deductions of about N5 billion.
In an interview with newsmen in Ibadan, Chairman ASUU University of Ibadan, Dr Deji Omole said the action of the federal government was capable of disrupting peace and industrial by imposing multiple taxation on already taxed workers.
He argued that unions cannot be asked to pay tax by Federal Inland Revenue Service as they are not registered as business entities. He said that over N300million of Check-off dues and Cooperative monies of University of Ibadan academic staff are currently trapped making it difficult for those in need to access welfare support.
Omole stressed that the policy is capable of killing university workers faster than HIV/AIDS as people are already planning on how to use their savings during the festive season and for the payment of children tuition fees in the new year.
“As unions we would not allow any government to kill us because of the lopsided policy they introduce every now and then. How will you deduct people’s monies and not remit it for their usage? This is anti-people and fraudulent. Unions are not business entities and the monies of members are already taxed and therefore cannot be subjected to multiple taxation.”
According to him, the NEC of the union resolved that “The Union should re-invigorate its efforts in insisting that the peculiarities of Universities be incorporated into the new version . Check off dues and Cooperative contributions are a product of already taxed incomes, hence there is no need whatsoever for TIN”
Omole however hinted that the National Executive Council of ASUU has resolved to write Ministers of Labour, Employment and Education to the effect that “the requirement of TIN for Union dues and deductions is an anti-labour policy which portends danger for industrial harmony”