Tax: Ogun Workers Begin Warning Strike

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The Nigeria Labour Congress NLC, Ogun State chapter began a seven-day warning strike today to press home their demand which include the reversal of the 300 percent tax hike imposed by the Governor Ibikunle Amosun administration.

Pupils of public primary and secondary schools who reported in their schools this morning were turned back as the teachers also joined other civil servants in the strike.

Speaking with P.M. NEWS, the NLC chairman in Ogun State, Comrade Akeem Ambali alleged that his life is being threatened as he had observed strange movement of people around him since Tuesday.

Ambali said: “As I talk to you, my life is under threat. I have to go underground to safeguard my life. Yesterday I was invited by the SSS. On my way to their office, I got an information that the state Commissioner of Police has sent his boys to arrest me.

“The government is not sincere with workers. We are going through a lot of hardship in the state. We have tried several means to dialogue with government but there is no positive result. The law makers invited us to a meeting on Tuesday. We met with them but all our requests were not considered. So, the meeting ended in a deadlock. Even in Lagos, a worker on Grade Level 13 is paying less than N8,000 as tax. But in Ogun State, a Level 13 staff is paying N22,000. The tax we pay in Ogun State is more than what federal civil servants pay.”

Explaining why Ogun civil servants embarked on the seven-day warning strike, Ambali claimed the government was playing pranks with them and this should stop.

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The Ogun NLC boss said the government was relying on a 1993 law forgetting that another law passed in 1998 has repealed the 1993 law.

He said: “Our demand is that the government should rescind the 300 per cent hike in tax and return to the status quo. We can then sit down and dialogue.

“They should tell us when they will pay us the N8.5 billion owed workers in pension deductions. Also, our cooperative deductions of three months must be remitted to us.”

Ambali disclosed that after the warning strike, Ogun workers will sit down to decide the next line of action.

Meanwhile, the strike has paralysed economic activities in the state.

—Biodun Onafuye/Abeokuta