By Victor Ahiumayoung
Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, yesterday said over 100,000 employers of Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, would be celebrating a bleak Christmas as the government had not paid their October to December 2014 salaries.
The association lamented that some state governments had also now paid workers their salaries making the yuletide enjoyable for them and their loved ones.
Investigations revealed that among states that are owing workers either arrears of salaries and other benefits include Benue, Ondo, Ogun and Ekiti states.
Speaking yesterday, Secretary General of ASCSN, Mr. Alade Bashir Lawal, said immediately after Christmas, the body would declare industrial action to ensure that members got their salaries, saying similar things happened last year and that it took up to February before the affected workers were paid.
According to him, as at 2pm none of the employers of MDAs had received any alert that any amount had been paid into his or her account.
From our records, as at October, staff of five MDAs, did not receive their salaries, by November, the MDAs increased to 11 and as we speak, about 30 MDAs are affected. Over 100, 000 employees in the MDAs are affected. Some of the MDAs are Ministry of Works with a staff strength of 26,000; Ministry of Education with a staff of 25,000;, Ministry of Labour and Productivity, is affected, Ministry of Agriculture and National Identity Card Management Commission, NICMC, are also affected. We are that the computation had been done and the file is at the Office of the Minister of Finance. But the Minister has refused to approve money for the payment of these salaries.
By the close of work today (Yesterday), if the workers are not paid, immediately after the Christmas holiday, we will meet to take decisive action on it. I can tell you that the situation is very bad for the workers. Most of them have been borrowing to service their obligations hoping that government will pay them. Today (yesterday) is December 24, and by 2 pm nothing has happened.
“We are also in the know that government wants to retrench as a result of falling crude oil prices in the international market. We are prepared for it. We have mobilizes our members and informed them that once government announces any retrenchment, they should seat at home. When the crude oil prices were high, when the going was good, we did not participate in the boom or enjoyment with them. We asked for salary increase, they refused, so, they cannot transfer the pains to us now”
Recall that last week, ASCSN, had raised alarm over non-payment of October to December salaries to Federal Government MDAs, threatening industrial action.