Delta workers allege undue taxes, 20% pay deduction
Civil servants in Delta State have accused Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of ordering the deduction of 20 per cent from their salaries.The workers alleged that they were also paying multiple taxes, particularly with the introduction of water tenement rate and other levies on landlords across the state.
The civil servants, who declined to have their names in print, stated that all efforts by the labour unions to intervene had been unsuccessful.According to them, while the state had failed to pay them promotion arrears, the pensioners were also having the burden of unpaid pension and gratuities.
But, the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, explained that the issues raised by the workers were not true.He explained that the new taxes were imposed to enable government to generate enough revenue to provide basic infrastructure in the state.
He, however, added that the state government was not responsible for the payment of primary school teachers’ salaries.The commissioner stressed that government had been faithful in paying the workers’ salaries, including the teachers on its payroll, despite its huge debt burden.
Also, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Labourand Industrial Relations, Mr. Mike Okeme has dismissed the workers’ allegations as a ploy to derail the work of Okowa.He said contrary to the workers’ protest against on-going screening, over 60 per cent of them had deliberately refused to be screened.
“The governor has been doing well and for him not to borrow money to pay the huge debt in the state, he came up with the reasonable idea of generating revenue internally to meet the obligations,” he added.
Meanwhile, mixed reactions have trailed the payment of N5, 000 monthly stipend in the state under the Federal Government’s cash transfer programme. While some resident described it as fraudulent, the Executive Secretary of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (DEMSMA) Shimite Bello, told stakeholders that the exercise was to assist the helpless people in the society.