The Chairman of SIRS, Mr Emeka Odo, had accused the state office of the agency of failure to remit N37 million accrueable to the state as tax from the salaries of NOA staff from 2010 to 2014.
However, speaking with some journalists on Wednesday, the State Director of NOA, Mr Isaac Onukwube, said that his agency was willing to enter into negotiations with the state government on how to settle the debt.
Onukwube appealed that they should be allowed access to their office so as to look into the records with a view to reconciling the figures quoted by the government.
He explained that the debt was incurred when the state offices were in charge of salary payment prior to the introduction of Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
He said, “These are liabilities incurred by under deduction and under remittance of tax of NOA staff spanning five years.
“Some have either died or retired. Others have left or transferred to other establishments.
“The people that will pay the money are the remaining staffers in our service.
“We are appealing to the SIRS to unseal our office so that we can have access to the records and make reconciliation between the figures quoted by them and the one we think is correct,” he pleaded.
While the agency appealed to the state government for time said is willing to enter into a repayment plan with the SIRS, noting that the discrepancies in the remittance was not intentional.
“As at then, they thought they were doing the right thing in paying certain percentage of tax and nobody complained then. All of a sudden, they said we were not paying the correct amount.
“Unfortunately, they said I should pay 50 per cent of the sum but nobody kept money anywhere to defray this liability. I do not have a vote to make the repayment.
“It is the residents of the state that are suffering because we are no longer rendering our services to them in this prevailing circumstance,” he said.
Onukwube appealed to Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to intervene in order to sort out the matter.