By Victor Ahiuma-Young
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, has faulted perceived politicisation of the salary review of public servants in the country, saying such politicisation has always worked against the civil servants.
ASCSN’s Secretary General, Joshua Apebo, also lamented that over two years that a committee set up to review upward the salaries of public servants, completed its assignment, but its report has not been released.
In a chat with Vanguard, Apebo informed that Organised Labour will decide the next line of action after the meeting of the National Public Service Negotiating Council, taking place later this week.
According to him, “The last time we had an upward review in the salaries of public servants was over a decade ago when it was reviewed upward by 53.37 percent. About two years ago, when we started pushing for the upward review, the federal government set up a committee made up of the Head of Service of the Federation, HoSF, the Minister of Budget and Planning, the Minister of Labour and Employment, and some other heads of ministerial departments. The committee did its work and the last time we met with HoSF, we were told that the report of the committee would be released soon.
“As we speak, the report has not been released. We are hoping that as meet from March 28 to March 31, during a meeting of the National Public Service Negotiating Council, we will be told why the report has not been released. From then we will know our next line of action because civil servants are earnestly expecting the increase because of the high cost of living. Inflation is more than two digits, the exchange rate is almost N800 to one dollar and at the time of the last review, the exchange rate was below N165 to a dollar. Today, the cost of living is so high that the salary cannot take the lowest-paid civil servants anywhere. It has been eroded by the high cost of living especially by the prices of goods and services as well as other basic necessities.
“Already, the politicisation of salaries review has already created multiple problems for civil servants even when the upward review has not been done. When salaries of private sector workers are increased, nobody hears about it. They enjoy their salary increase without hassles. But when it comes to civil servants, everybody wants to take from it and exploit the civil servants. Government should stop politicizing reviews of the salaries of civil servants so that the civil servants could enjoy the value of the increase.”
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