Stamp Duty: Govt Corporation Workers Threaten Full Strike
The Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) on Monday asked the Federal Government to immediately convene a stakeholders’ meeting to discuss the issue of stamp duties and its production or face full industrial action.
The meeting, SSASCGOC said, should include the Federal Inland Revenue Service Nigeria Postal Service, Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy.
SSASCGOC made the demand in a statement by its General Secretary, Dr Ayo Olorunfemi.
The association declared that it had the responsibility to protect the interest of all its members in Nigeria.
SSASCGOC had on July 19 protested against the printing of stamps by the FIRS describing the usurpation of NIPOST duties.
The organisation had then issued a 21-day ultimatum for the Federal Government to facilitate an urgent meeting of stakeholders in order to arrive at an amicable resolution or risk nationwide strike.
But on Monday, Olorunfemi called on the President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the crisis in the interest of industrial peace.
He said, “As a responsible union, we have called on the Federal Government in the spirit of social dialogue, to convene a stakeholders’ meeting of FIRS, NIPOST, SSASCGOC, Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy to discuss the issue of stamp as it relates to stamp duties.
“Failure to do this, the union shall have no other option than to declare full industrial action. A 21-day ultimatum/notice had been given to the Federal Government already.
“We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene on this matter before it degenerates into an avoidable industrial relations crisis, which is capable of embarrassing Nigeria in the comity of nations.
“SSASCGOC recognises the power given to FIRS by the law to collect stamp duty. The power given to NIPOST by law to produce the stamp must also be recognised. That is the reason we are saying that stamp, which is the major instrument to demote duties, is a legal product owned by NIPOST and should be procured by FIRS to carry out the collection.”
Olorunfemi said the union had the sole responsibility to unionise all senior staff in statutory organisations in the country and protect their interests in line with the pronouncement of the National Industrial Court judgments of December 17, 2019 and May 2020.
“SSASCGOC has responsibilities towards the protection of the interest of all senior staff of statutory corporations in Nigeria including FIRS as pronounced by the NIC judgments of December 17, 2019 and May 2020,” he said.
He said SSASCGOC would not allow itself to be provoked by an attempt by another union to blackmail it over its struggle on the issue and its insistence that the FIRS should not usurp NIPOST responsibility to produce stamp, but buy stamps from NIPOST to be used for its stamp duties