As the world celebrates Christmas on Monday, some Nigerian civil servants have urged the Federal Government to pay arrears of the N35,000 wage award it promised workers.

 

 

The civil servants, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews, also advised the Federal Government to always endeavour to pay their December salaries before Christmas.

NAN reports that President Bola Tinubu had shortly after announcing removal of petrol subsidy, promised to give N35,000 wage award to federal government workers.

The idea, according to Tinubu, was to help the workers cushion transport costs amid the rising cost of food and other commodities.

 

 

Findings by NAN, however, revealed that the wage award was paid only for September.

According to Mr Simon Ali, a civil servant, the stoppage of the N35,000 wage award has created confusion.

“Most of us have accommodated this wage award of N35,000 as part of our monthly budget, but we have only been paid for September.

“This is something that the Federal Government initiated by itself. The President will do well to ensure that the wage award is restored and the arrears paid, especially in the festive season,” he said.

Mr Isa Ahmed, another civil servant, also expressed disappointment at the failure of the federal government to continue with payment of the N35,000 wage award.

Isa also complained that the delay in payment of December salaries was not helpful to the workers.

“Private sector organisations and even some state governments usually pay December salaries before Christmas.

“Many of them even pay 13th month salary bonus to enable their workers celebrate Christmas with ease. Why is it difficult for the federal government to do something similar.

“I hope that the President will consider paying the three months arrears of the N35,000 wage award along with the December salary.

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“This will go a long way to alleviate the present economic hardship,” he said.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) recently warned of dire consequences, if the government stopped the payment of the wage award.

Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, the TUC National President, said that the federal government must fulfill its obligations to pay the N35,000.

According to him, the federal government approved to pay a wage award of N35,000 to workers in its payroll effective from Sept. 1.

“The one for the month of September 2023 was paid in the month of November 2023,” he said.

He appealed to the federal government to commence payment of the outstanding arrears of October and November immediately.

Also, the Federal Workers Forum (FWF) expressed concern that the N35,000 wage award may have been stopped.

The National Coordinator of FWF, Mr Andrew Emelieze, in a statement, said that the workers are passing through tortuous moments since the removal of fuel subsidy.

“Federal government workers nationwide have been going through tortuous moments since the removal of petroleum subsidy.

“Our take home pay has been made meaningless as a result of the rising cost of living and the constant devaluation of the Naira.

“Salaries have remained the same while prices of goods and services have tripled within this period.

“Minimum wage has remained at N30,000 monthly while prices of everything continue to soar,” he said.

He also called on the Federal Government to pay the arrears of the wage award as a matter of urgency.

 

 

 

By TheInterviewsNigeria

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