25 October 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has rejected the plan by the governments at both the federal and state levels to tax pensions, gratuities and terminal benefits of workers in the country.
The senior staff trade union vowed to resist the implementation of the plan which it claimed would further impoverish Nigerian workers, who served the country.
In a communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council, NEC, meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, PENGASSAN condemned the unilateral decision by the Federal Inland Revenue, FIRS, and States Internal Revenue Services to act outside the provisions of the Federal Tax Laws, thereby infringing on the rights of the workers.
PENGASSAN, in the communique signed by its president, Comrade Francis Olabode Johnson, and General Secretary, Comrade Lumumba Ighotemu Okugbawa, condemned the plan by governments, especially the Lagos State Government and its agent, the Lagos State Inland Revenue Service, LIRS, to tax workers’ gratuities and terminal benefits.
“The NEC-in-Session calls on all workers, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and other labour unions to reject and resist the planned taxation of pensions, gratuities and terminal benefits.
“The NEC-in-Session notes that the planned taxation will further deplete workers’ final entitlements and increase poverty in the country,” adding that “this can also shorten the life-span of workers in the country.”
The oil workers association also condemned the actions of the Joint Tax Board, JTB, and some state boards of Internal Revenue for illegally harassing employers from processing additional pension and life insurance tax reliefs for workers as enshrined in the law.