In an interview conducted subsequent to his appearance before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee, Vice Chancellor of the Milton Margai Technical University, Professor Phillip John Kanu, stated that his university's delay in remitting Pay As You Earn (PAYE) taxes was a direct result of limited to nonexistent funds as a result of outstanding debts owed to the university by the government.
Professor Kanu was responding to questions posed by journalists who were present for the parliamentary committee hearing on matters related to alleged withholding of PAYE taxes and the submission of incomplete documentation to auditors.
In his explanation to the journalists, Professor Kanu emphasized that the tax issues are the result of inherited liabilities that had accrued prior to the university’s transformation from its previous institutional status. These liabilities were further exacerbated by the large number of long-term administrative staff who retired and are now eligible for retirement benefits.
Professor Kanu clarified that, while he had previously indicated that the debts owed by the government exceeded fourteen billion, primarily in the form of granted aids to the majority of its students, with the outstanding PAYE tax liability amounting to approximately twelve billion, these figures needed to be verified by his accounts and human resources personnel.
He added that the payment of these taxes and administrative costs is largely dependent on funds received from the government as payment for granted aids. However, he reaffirmed his commitment to making the payments based on assurances received from the government.
This commitment was reflected in the letter of intent that he submitted to the Parliamentary Accounts Committee, expressing the university's intention to settle all tax obligations owed to both retired and retiring staff.