ABUJA (Labour Ministry’ Report)- The Federal Government has further demonstrated its commitment to permanently resolve the lingering issue of unpaid salary arrears and allowances of public servants with a meeting by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udo Udoma, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita.
The meeting which held in furtherance of the directive of the Federal Executive Council of May 24, 2017 displayed the efforts and iron cast determination of the Federal Government to clear all arrears such as outstanding allowances on promotion, twenty-eight days relocation, repatriation, training, burial expenses and death benefits to public servants . It added that government’s decision was anchored on a clear understanding that clearing these arrears form part of the palliative measures being taken to cushion the harsh economic realities on the public servants.
The meeting further stated that the Federal Government since that Federal Executive Council decision, through the office of the Accountant General of the Federation was already processing the sum of Ten Billion Naira for the payment of promotion arrears with modalities for payment being worked out to make sure that wrong persons are not paid this first olive-waving step of the Federal Government. It similarly noted that a disbursement of the sum of N14.6 Billion had earlier been done in early 2017 to take care of the salary arrears arising from the shortfalls in the 2016 budget.
Also present at the meeting were the Director General of the Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabuze, Mrs. Batagarawa, the Permanent Secretary in the Office of Head of Service who represented Mrs. Oyo-Ita and the representative of the Minister of Finance
It will be recalled that the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria had earlier issued fourteen day strike notice on the Federal Government over the issue. The ultimatum ended on May 30, 2017.
The Minister of Labour and Employment has been engaged in many meetings with the leadership of the Trade Union Congress led by its President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama and the Nigerian Labour Congress led by its President Comrade Ayuba Wabba in the last one week on the issue.