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Ministry seeks understanding of staff, Kings’ College over salary irregularity

The Federal Ministry of Education has appealed to the staff of King’s College, Lagos to be patient with government while it resolves irregularity in their salaries.

The Director, Press and Public Relations of the ministry, Mrs Priscilla Ihuoma, made the appeal during a telephone interview with newsmen on Monday in Lagos.

According to her, the ministry is working hard to ensure that the salary issue is resolved, once and for all.

NAN reports that the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), King’s College chapter, March 27, staged one-week warning strike over the non-payment of staff salaries of its members.

The Chairman of the association, Mr Jude Uche, then, told newsmen that the association was agitating for non-payment of February and March salaries.

“The same thing happened in 2016 when members of staff of the college were owed salaries from February to September,’’ Uche told NAN.

He said that the main cause of the delayed payment in salaries of the staff concerned had been left to linger without being addressed to forestall further occurrence.

“Before now, we were told of a mix-up from the Budget and Planning Office and the Federal Ministry of Finance.

“We learnt that last year, instead of paying N409 million as salaries for the entire year, only N37 million was captured in the budget, which was grossly inadequate’’.

Uche further said that the same situation played up in 2017 budget in which N164 million was captured as salaries instead of the N409 million.

“Even with the N164 million, after all deductions, the money was reduced to N144 million’’.

The association chairman said that the situation, occasioned by the shortfall, was making life difficult for members of the association.

But Ihuoma said the ministry was concerned about the issue and had been doing everything possible to ensure payment of the salaries.

“The Federal Ministry of Education has written to its Finance counterpart for a solution to the problem.

“We are also monitoring development and we will like to assure that with machinery put in place by the ministry over the salary issue, there will soon be a headway,’’ she said.

On the possibility of another test for candidates seeking placements into the JSS 1 arm of the 104 Unity colleges across the country, Ihuoma said the opportunity had closed for the year.

NAN also reports that 78,378 pupils participated at the 2017 National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE), conducted by the National Examinations Council (NECO) across the country on April 8.

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