*Protest unneccessary —Ministry spokesman
By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
ABUJA—Activities were grounded at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Abuja, for several hours, yesterday, as its staff demonstrated against their unpaid allowances put at about N1.2 billion.
The staff of the main ministry were joined by their counterparts from the Office of the Accountant- General of the Federation and Budget Office of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
The allowances which the demonstrating workers claimed were unpaid for about two years include those for special overtime and training.
The protesting staff had converged early in the morning and locked the gates of the ministry to prevent the management from accessing the premises.
The placard carrying protesters demanded the removal of Mrs. Adeosun, whom they accused of bringing negative change to the ministry.
Some of the placards read: “PMB agent of positive change, Adeosun agent of negative change,” “Adeosun score card is zero,” “Kemi Adeosun must go,” “You are destroying Federal Ministry of Finance,” “Inflation is 15% courtesy of Adeosun,” among others
However, the Ministry’s Director of Information, Malam Salisu Dambatta said that the protest was unnecessary.
According to him, the special overtime allowance had been stopped since 2014 and therefore, can no longer be a subject of protest.
He said: “A joint protest by some staff of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Budget Office of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, to back a demand for the payment of an unofficial allowance totaling N1.2 billion has been brought to the attention of the management of the Federal Ministry of Finance.
“The management wishes to state as follows: The payment of what the protesting staff called a special overtime, SOT, was stopped by the last administration in 2014 on the ground that it was not listed in any extant government Circular, Financial Regulations or the Public Service Rules.”