By David Odama
LAFIA—DESPITE the Federal Government bailout last year, salaries of workers in Nasarawa State have been slashed by between 30 and 50 percent and are still being owed for upward of four months.
According to the Chairman of the state chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Abdullahi Adeka, “the situation is appalling, hence government delays salaries for up to four months before payment is made for one month.
“Another issue of concern is that no worker in Nasarawa State has been promoted in the last six years, no annual increment, while no attention is paid to staff development in terms of training in the last six years.”
He added that outstanding salaries, pensions and gratuities had not been paid, in spite of the Paris Club refund that came with a categorical instruction that the payments be effected.
A senior teacher in one of the state government’s colleges said before the cut, he received N54,000 monthly, but was paid N7,000 last month.
A director in the state Ministry of Education, who received N224,000 as monthly salary, was paid N100,000, while a secondary school principal, said she was paid N70,000 instead of the usual 200,000 monthly.
The state’s Deputy Governor, Silas Agara, had, on Tuesday, denied that the government had reduced civil servants’ salaries, saying government merely removed the extra money it had been paying in addition to federal minimum wage.
Mr. Agara said in Lafia that the government had been paying double the federal minimum wage of N18,000, but decided to halt the package as its monthly allocation from the Federal Government dwindled.
“Government recently released N300 million for the payment of gratuity of some retirees, but the money is grossly insufficient and certainly not up to half of the Paris Club refund,” he said.