A not pleasant disclosure yesterday came from the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) that 23 out of the 36 States of the federation are owing workers salaries.
In a related development, University of Ibadan (UI) chapter of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Non-Academic Staff Union of University (NASU) yesterday threatened to down tools if their Earned Allowances are not paid and other conditions are not met by the institution.
But in a swift reaction, the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Isaac Adewole stated that the Earned Allowance has not been paid by the Federal Government to the university.
The report of the NLC Task Force on employees salary arrears across the country revealed that the debtor States include Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Cross River, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kogi. Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers and Zamfara which owe their employees salary arrears of at least six months.
According to the report, while some of the states had paid salaries of workers up to date, some were owing arrears of pensions running into months. The States owing salaries or pensions are Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Cross Rivers, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, and Kogi. Others are Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers and Zamfara states.
The report added that Anambra, Adamawa, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Edo, the FCT, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Sokoto and Taraba States are not indebted to their workers. The report paints a bleak picture of civil service workers across the country.
In Abia State for example, the report states that it has not paid the salaries of workers at the State teaching hospital for nine months.
The state has also not paid workers of the Hospital Management Board for eight months; Abia State Universal Basic Education Board, six months; Abia State Polytechnic, five months; local government workers, four months; and teachers, three months’ salary arrears. Enugu may have paid the salaries of civil servants till date, but parastatals are owed 12 months’ salaries and pension and gratuity payments haven’t been issued since 2010.
For other States, the picture is a sorry one. Osun, on average, owes six months’ in salary and pension payments; Plateau, six months in salaries and seven months in pension entitlements; Benue, five months of salaries and four months of pension benefits; Kogi, four months in arrears of pension and salary payments; and Oyo, which owes three months in salaries and between five and 11 months of pension payments.
States which are likely to owe salaries and pension of workers well into June include Ekiti, which is already in arrears of state employee salaries for three months; Jigawa, which owes judiciary workers a month in salary arrears; Ondo, which owes a month’s salary and pension payments, while Ogun also owes a month of salary payments but a mind-boggling 52 months of unremitted pension deductions to the Pension Fund Administration.
However, the Ogun State Government yesterday said it was not owing workers salaries contrary to an earlier media report. While Zamfara has paid workers’ salaries up to date, the salaries of workers recruited in 2014 have not been paid.
The NLC task force also said disclosed that Rivers State is owing one month’s worth of pay and three months worth of pension payments while Kano is yet to pay newly employed teachers for three months.
The report was silent on the status of Yobe and Ebonyi States on the ground that “there was no information on them.”
The JAC, which comprises the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) as well as the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU)accused the university management of not paying their Earned Allowances since 2013 despite its approval by the federal government.
Addressing reporters in Ibadan on the development, the Chairman of SSANU, Wale Akinremi said, “the issue of our unpaid Earned Allowances is our major problem, Federal Government has directed the management to pay us since 2013, but the university management has been running away from this. Adewole also debunked claims of plans to privatise the staff school, saying there was no circular issued towards that effect.