By Victor Ahiumayoung
Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, yesterday, threatened to call out its members in the public service on strike over unpaid October to December 2014 salaries.
Secretary General of the body, Mr. Alade Bashir Lawal, in a statement lamented that the Federal Government had not been able to pay thousands of public servants their October and November, not to talk about December 2014 salary.
According to him, “as we write, information reaching the union from informed quarters indicate that about 30 Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, MDAs, will not pay December 2014 salaries to their employees. It is very unfortunate that since October 2014, the Federal Ministries of Agriculture, Education, Works, Labour and Productivity as well as a host of other MDAs have not paid salary to their workers.
“The reality on ground is that thousands of civil servants and their dependants will celebrate this year’s Christmas and New Year in sorrow. We call on President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene on this matter and ensure that thousands of civil servants are paid their October, November and December salaries before the festivity to put smile on their faces.”
ASCSN called on the government to use the N9.2 billion earmarked to buy stoves for “rural women” to offset the October and November salaries as well as that of December 2014, noting that “We cannot understand how N9.2 billion would be spent on stoves while workers who toil daily to keep the wheels of government functioning cannot be paid their meagre salary.”
“Last year, more than 40 MDAs could not pay December 2013 salary to their workers and when the union raised the alarm, government officials were quick to deny the development prompting the Association to publish the names of the MDAs that were involved in the non-payment of salary saga.
“Based on this sad experience of last year, one would have expected that serious steps should have been taken to ensure that the ugly scenario did not repeat itself
“Unfortunately, we are now back to square one. Workers, to say the least, are very sad as they can no longer meet their immediate needs as a result of refusal of Government to pay them their salaries.”