Bleak Christmas: Nigerian Workers Punished as Governors Fail to Pay December Salaries

Civil servants in some states of the federation may not be able to meet their obligations to their family members on Christmas Day (tomorrow) as their employers have failed to pay their December salary.
Investigations by SUNDAY PUNCH across the country revealed that most workers would not have enough money to celebrate because they either have not been paid for December at all, nor have their governors paid the full sum.
Some of those who shared their pains and agonies with our correspondents expressed disappointment in their various state governors who chose to deny them of their rights, despite the huge resources at their disposal.
They described as unfortunate a situation whereby governors, who, just last week, shared part of the N609bn federal allocation for November and N243bn Paris Club refund, would refuse to pay their salary.
In Ondo State, the civil servants who are currently being owed four months’ salary arrears had yet to receive their December pay as of Friday.
The Chairman of the state’s Trade Union Congress, Mr. Soladoye Ekundayo, who disclosed this to one of our correspondents in Akure, said, “The workers have yet to receive the salary but the government has promised to pay next week.”
Workers in Osun State may also experience a bleak Christmas celebration because they had yet to receive their December salary as of Friday evening.
Investigations by SUNDAY PUNCH in the state revealed that the workers had been paid the November salary but only those on grade level 01-07 were paid in full, while those from level 08 to 12 were paid 75 per cent of their earnings. Workers on grade level13 and above collected half of their salaries.
A civil servant on grade level 12 told one of our correspondents that many workers were not sure that they would be able to eat a decent meal on Christmas Day, much less buy things for their children.
Also in Ekiti State, workers are facing a bleak Christmas as they are now owed five months’ salary.
The workers were paid their July salary last week when the state government got its share of the October allocation from the Federation Account.
Governor Ayodele Fayose, however, promised the workers that they would get additional pay from the N4.7bn which is the state’s share of the Paris Club Refund.
Workers in Oyo State are also grumbling as one of our correspondents gathered that the state government had yet to pay their December salary as of Friday.
It was however gathered that the government had paid the September and October salary to civil servants and pensioners, earlier in the month.
The Chairman of the NLC in the state, Waheed Olojede, confirmed the payment. He said, “The government has paid September and October but we have yet to get our December salary.”
The state Commissioner for Finance in Kogi State, Idris Asiru, said workers in Kogi State, who are owed between five to 20 months’ salary, have received 60 per cent of one of their outstanding arrears on Thursday.
He said, “Regrettably, we are only able to pay 60 per cent of one month’s salary across the board. It is the sincere hope of government that through our aggressive drive to increase internally generated revenues, the fortunes of civil servants and all citizens will improve.”
In Anambra State, workers in the state judiciary said they had yet to be paid their December salary as of Friday, despite the fact that some of their colleagues in other ministries claimed to have received payment alerts.
A judicial worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said none of his colleagues in the state’s Ministry of Justice had received the December salary as of 3.30pm on Friday.
He said, “We were not paid. But the problem is not from the state government; it’s from our ministry (the judiciary). Our salaries have always been delayed by the judiciary accounting officers. We don’t really know what the problem is. It has always been like that.”
-Culled from Punch

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The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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