On the occasion of Monday’s worldwide Christmas celebration, a group of Nigerian government employees have expressed their desire for the Federal Government to fulfill its commitment of disbursing the long-overdue ₦35,000 wage increase to its workforce. During individual interviews, public officials offered their suggestions to the Federal Government, stressing the importance of consistently disbursing December salaries ahead of the Christmas season. It was reported that President Bola Tinubu made a commitment to grant a ₦35,000 wage award to employees of the federal government, soon after his announcement regarding the elimination of petrol subsidy.
Tinubu’s rationale behind the plan was to provide aid to the workers in alleviating the burden of transportation expenses amidst the surging prices of essential goods and other commodities. According to investigation, it was discovered that the wage award was solely remunerated for the month of September. Mr. Simon Ali, a civil servant, has voiced his concerns about the chaos caused by the sudden halt in the implementation of the ₦35,000 wage increase. The majority of individuals among the workers have incorporated the ₦35,000 wage award into their monthly financial plans; however, they have only received payment for the month of September.
Workers are not pleased with the delay in payment of their Dec salaries.
He remarked that the Federal Government had taken the initiative on its own. He advised that it would be wise for the President to prioritize the reinstatement of the wage award and the timely settlement of the remaining payments, particularly during the festive season. Mr. Isa Ahmed, a different public employee, has shared his displeasure regarding the federal government’s decision to discontinue the implementation of the ₦35,000 wage increase. The workers were not pleased with the delay in payment of their December salaries, which has also expressed dissatisfaction with.
A customary practice among private sector entities, and occasionally observed by select state governments, is the timely issuance of December salaries preceding the celebration of Christmas. The federal government often struggles to provide its workers with a bonus equivalent to an extra months salary, which would allow them to enjoy Christmas without financial burdens. What impedes the government from implementing a comparable system? He expressed optimism that the President will take into account the settlement for the overdue three months’ ₦35,000 wage increase as well as the payment for the month of December. He mentioned that this action would significantly contribute towards relieving the current economic difficulties, he expressed.
Cessation of petroleum subsidies has plunged FG workers into distress.
Also, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) issued a stark warning regarding the potential grave repercussions that would ensue should the government cease the allocation of the wage award. It is imperative that the federal government honour its commitment to providing the ₦35,000 as stated by Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, who serves as the TUC National President. He stated that the federal government has granted its approval to grant a wage increase of ₦35,000 to employees within its system, commencing from September 1, 2023. The payment pertaining to September 2023 was duly settled during the month of November in the same year, he stated.
Furthermore, he implored the federal government to promptly initiate the remittance of the unpaid dues for the months of October and November. The possibility of the ₦35,000 wage award being halted has been a cause of concern raised by the Federal Workers Forum (FWF). In his official statement, Mr. Andrew Emelieze, the National Coordinator of FWF, expressed deep concern about the challenging times faced by the workers following the elimination of fuel subsidy. The cessation of petroleum subsidies has plunged federal government employees across the country into a state of extreme distress.
Gov’t should promptly settle the outstanding wage award payments.
Additionally, the increasing expenses of daily life coupled with the continuous devaluation of the Naira have rendered their net income insignificant. During this timeframe, although salaries have not witnessed any increase, the prices of goods and services have experienced a threefold surge. He commented that despite the relentless increase of prices on every front, the minimum wage has steadfastly remained at a mere ₦30,000 per month. In a pressing matter, he urgently implored the Federal Government to promptly settle the outstanding wage award payments.