…As Labour suspends planned strike
By Victor Ahiuma-Young
LAGOS— Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, yesterday said the Federal Government had commenced payment of over N290 billion outstanding salary, promotion and other arrears owed civil servants.
The body in a statement in Lagos, noted that following the commencement of payment of the arrears, it had suspended the strike earlier planned to start on Monday, September 18 but shifted to Wednesday, September, 20, 2017, following a parley with the government after the strike notice was issued.
In the statement issued in Lagos by ASCSN President, Bobboi Bala Kaigama, and the Secretary-General, Alade Bashir Lawal, the group stated that the strike, which would have paralysed all federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, MDAs, had to be put on hold since the Federal Government had started paying the affected officers their outstanding entitlements.
“Some MDAs where affected workers have started to receive payment since Monday include Energy Commission of Nigeria, Federal Character Commission, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, National Boundary Commission, National Library of Nigeria, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation etc.
‘’As a responsible trade union, we have to suspend the strike since payment has started and we commend the government for kick-starting the process.
‘’We wish to advise the government to ensure that payment continued until all federal officers being owed receive their full entitlements, the statement read.
The association, however, warned that if by any act of omission or commission the payment process was scuttled by the government, the strike would begin without further notice.
ASCSN also enjoined its members in the MDAs to remain calm, saying it was closely monitoring the situation.
It urged well-meaning Nigerians to lend their voices to the plea of the union that all efforts be made by the government to settle all arrears of entitlements owed federal officers, so the ugly situation could be nipped in the bud.
“The government should equally ensure that, henceforth, salaries, promotion increment and other allowances are paid to workers when due, so we do not have this experience again in the federal public service,” the union stated.
It will be recalled that the ASCSN has been spear-heading the struggle for payment of debts owed Federal Officers for some years.