Public workers task government over salary payment
• Buhari, we are hungry and angry, say civil servants
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has urged the Federal Government to take urgent steps to pay the outstanding salaries and allowances of thousands of workers, The group lamented that its members are hungry and passing through very hard times.
Speaking recently in Lagos, the ASCSN, Secretary-General, Alade Bashir Lawal, said with the present recession in the country, if the salary arrears and allowances owed by government are paid, it would help stimulate the economy.
“We believe that since these federal civil servants and their dependents live in different parts of the country, if these outstanding entitlements are paid to them, it will have positive ripple effects on the economy and douse the tension in the land.
“There is anger and hunger in the country, and as a patriotic trade union organisation, we have decided to bring this situation to the notice of government so that it can take necessary measures to stem the tide by doing the needful.”
He also said: “we wondered why the Federal Government that doled out N713.7 billion to states to pay arrears of salaries and allowances to their workers, but refused to settle similar debts owed its own employees, even when a committee it set up to compute the outstanding liabilities had completed its assignment and submitted its report to the Presidency more than 10 months ago.”
He lamented that a bag of rice now sold for about N19,000 to N20,000, above the N18,000 monthly National Minimum Wage; while a gallon of kerosene costs N1,200 from about N400 a few months ago and the price of petrol was increased from N87.50 to N145 per litre.
“Generally, while the cost of goods and services has continued to rise astronomically, salaries of workers have remained static and these have not even been paid in some states for the past six months.
“Since the welfare of the people is the main reason why Government exists, we advise that the Federal Government to look beyond political party affiliation and other primordial affinity and assemble patriotic experts, who abound in Nigeria, to chart the way forward for the economy,” he emphasised.
According to him, if the economic hardship continued without the Government addressing it, the impression would be created that it is insensitive to the plight of the citizens or that it was deliberately impoverishing them.Lawal advised President MuhammaduBuhari not to allow the goodwill that brought him to power to be easily eroded, and so soon.
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