Labour seeks monitoring of N713.7 billion bailout grant

Secretary-General, Alade Bashir Lawal

Secretary-General, Alade Bashir Lawal

The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has urged the Federal Government to monitor the state governments and federal ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), to ensure prudent utilisation of the N713.7 billion granted to them to pay outstanding salaries and allowances of public service employees.

The union, in a statement made available to The Guardian yesterday, signed by its Secretary-General, Alade Bashir Lawal, explained that the call has become imperative as feelers from some states indicates that, some governors have allegedly concluded plans to divert the fund for private purposes.

“This is why we are requesting that the Presidency should set up necessary machinery to monitor the disbursement of the fund by the state governments to ensure that it is used to pay salaries and allowances.

“It will be a tragedy if this humongous sum of money is diverted to private pockets and not used to pay public servants their salaries and allowances some of which have been outstanding for more than nine months,” the union emphasised.

Besides, it opined that state governments should be encouraged to imbibe the culture of financial prudence and be discouraged from embarking on white elephant projects or indulging in financial recklessness and conspicuous consumption.

“More importantly, it should also be made clear to them not to develop the mentality of Oliver Twist or begin to see the Federal Government as Father Christmas that is ever ready to be doling out bailouts to them” it said.

ASCSN posited that, “the release of N713.7 billion life-line to states and some federal ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to offset arrears of salaries and allowances of public service employees had demonstrated clearly that the high hopes and expectations placed on Mr. President by more than 15 million voters who gave him a historic mandate on 28th March, 2015 were not misplaced”.

It added that, the expectations have brought to the fore why the Presidency should not allow the state governments and MDAs not to rubbish the good gesture of Mr. President to Nigerian workers.

ASCSN also enjoined the Federal Government to use the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to supervise the bailout that would accrue to some MDAs to ensure that it is used to settle the salaries and allowances of workers.

“The arrears of allowances owed federal public servants include, but are not limited to promotion arrears outstanding since 2007, 1st 28 days in lieu of hotel accommodating, Duty Tour Allowance (DTA), mandatory training allowance for the training organized by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) in 2010, burial expenses, repatriation allowance, among other,” the union said.

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