Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State

Ekiti schools’ workers protests Fayose’s tax regime

 By Sunday Aloba, Ado-Ekiti

 Workers in Ekiti State owned tertiary institutions have flayed what they termed “oppressive tax” regime slammed on them by the Ayodele Fayose led administration with a call for immediate reversal. They described Fayose regime’s tax policy as “obnoxious”  saying “a government that claims to be friends of the masses should not come through the backdoor to compound the already unbearable economic conditions of the same people.” 

They also condemned the alleged withholding the subventions to all state-owned educational institutions for the past six months which has financially crippled them and subjected them to dehumanization, abject poverty and immeasurable hardship. 

Rising from a meeting at the weekend under the aegis of Joint Association of Staff Unions in Tertiary Institutions in Ekiti State, the workers further described tax imposed on them by the government as “satanic, oppressive, punitive, draconian, unacceptable, condemnable and rejected in its entirety.” 

The institutions involved are Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti (EKSU), College of Education, Ikere Ekiti, College of Health Technology, Ijero Ekiti, Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE) and Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti. 

If the situation continues, the unions said they foresee what they called “paralysis of the whole system which could make the worst to happen” 

In the communique conveying the decisions of the workers which was read by the association’s Coordinator at EKSU, Prof. Olu Olufayo, they canvassed a downward review of taxes and also called for a tax holiday for workers as a result of the present economic hardship. 

The communique which was made available to our reporteron Sunday was also endorsed by Coordinators at FUOYE, Ademola Mutiu; his counterparts at COE Ikere, Charles Egunjobi; College of Health Tech, Ijero, N.G. Awopetu and Ado Federal Poly, Dr. O.I. Ayeni. 

The unions called on well-meaning Nigerians including traditional rulers and other lovers of education within and outside the country to intervene in the imbroglio between the higher institutions and the state government before it deteriorates. 

They said: “The Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of each of the institutions is not enough to meet the huge financial obligations. The state government that went ahead to publicly announce a slash in the tuition of the students should also be honorable and magnanimous enough to increase the subvention. 

“For instance in EKSU, the monthly subvention was formerly N260 million; now, it has been slashed to N230 million and even the N230 million has been stylishly withdrawn as the University has not received a dime as subvention from the state government since January, 2016. 

“At the College of Education, Ikere Ekiti, workers are owed seven months salary arrears due to the same problem of subvention reduction and withdrawal. We frown at the reduction of subventions and outright withdrawal of same from from the subventing tertiary institutions by the Ekiti State government. 

“Such reduction and withdrawal of subvention is devastating to the smooth running of the state-owned tertiary institutions. We hereby reiterate that rather than the reduction or withdrawal, the monthly subvention should be jerked up with immediate effect. 

The unions further condemned imposition of taxes by the state government on federal tertiary institutions without “registering its presence therein” a situation which has prompted FUOYE to seek protection in the court of law.

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