Bailout Funds, Pensions, Workers Salaries: Issues & Matters Arising –Ishola Adebayo

June 16, 2017

According to a recent survey conducted by BudgIT which shows that ten (10) states can’t pay workers’ salaries and pension despite double bailout funds received from the Federal Government at different intervals. The survey that covered primary school teachers, secondary school teachers, local government workers, state independent workers, pensioners and state secretariat workers also showed that six (6) states of the federation have not paid their workers in 2017.

The civic tech organization in the report of the survey also disclosed that workers in about 20 states were being owed while pensioners were yet to receive their entitlements ranging from one to thirty six months.

States like Kogi, Abia, Benue, Oyo, Ekiti and Ondo have not paid their workers’ salaries for this year 2017; they are owing at least 4 months’ salary. However, the likes of Lagos and Rivers have been consistently impressive with their up to date and full payment of civil servants’ remuneration.

In the same vein, the Organized labour has accused the Federal Government of owing civil servants a whopping N290 billion promotion arrears, lamenting that all efforts at making the government pay had not yielded any positive result.

Matters arising firstly, President Buhari, in his wisdom, gave bailout to governors and state governments to ameliorate and palliate the sufferings of Nigerian workers. It would be recalled that the President addressed the nation and specifically said the bailout funds was for the payment of salaries arrears.

The first set of bailouts was given to governors. Again, a second set of bailouts was given to state governments. As if that was not enough, Paris Club (loan) refund was also released to state governments.

Unfortunately, despite all these tranche of funds; releases of Bailout 1, Bailout 2 and Paris Club refunds, salaries are not been paid by the state Governors, public tertiary institutions in many of these states had been shut for several months now due to strike actions by various staff unions over non-payment of their salaries, co-operative deductions, amongst others.

It is however very pitiable with the paltry N18,000 minimum wage which is grossly inadequate for Nigerian workers considering the current economic situation in the country will still not be paid as at when due. It is even more worrisome with the case of the pensioners, those who have served their fatherland conscientiously.

No doubt, the dwindling state of revenue from the oil has refused to stop. States have continued to struggle to pay salaries of workers despite the bail-out funds it received from the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria.

It is hoped that, “the labours of our heroes either past or present shall never be in vain”.