President Bola Tinubu
Federal civil servants have confirmed the receipt of their October 2023 wage awards after a temporary suspension of payments. The N35,000 wage award, agreed upon between the Federal Government and Organized Labour, aimed to alleviate the impact of removing subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol.
According to Punch, President Bola Tinubu initially announced a N25,000 wage for “low-grade workers” during his Independence Day speech. However, following discussions with the organized labour union, the amount was increased to N35,000. The National Salaries, Wages, and Income Commission, through its Chairman Ekpo Nta, outlined that the wage award would take effect from September 1, 2023.
Despite this, Punch’s investigation reveals that the government only fulfilled the payment for September, leaving civil servants in Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies without the October wage awards. This development coincided with reports of an N100bn reduction in the wage award allocation in the 2023 supplementary budget.
The Nigeria Labour Congress criticized the government’s actions as dishonourable, while the Trade Union Congress warned of potential industrial action unless civil servants receive their wage awards promptly.
A senior civil servant, speaking anonymously, disclosed that some had started receiving the wage award for October 2023. However, the payment covered only October, leaving November and December awards unpaid, amounting to N105,000 owed to the workers.
In response to the controversy, the spokesperson for the Office of the Accountant General, Bawa Mokwa, assured that all civil servants would receive their wage awards as soon as possible. The delayed payments and discrepancies have raised concerns among the workforce, emphasizing the need for transparency and adherence to agreements made between the government and labour unions.