Varsity Lecturers Can’t Be Paid For Work Not Done – FG

A photo combination of ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke and the union’s logo.

 

The Federal Government has explained the rationale behind the payment of half salaries to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

ASUU had embarked on strike on February 14. Following a series of discussions with the government, coupled with a court order, the university lecturers ended the eight-month-old strike and returned to their classrooms on October 14.

READ ALSO: SERAP To Buhari: Direct Ngige To Immediately Reverse Deduction Of Lecturers’ Salaries

However, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration had vowed to invoke the no work, no pay on the aggrieved lecturers who had pressed home for a better welfare package for their members.

True to the government’s stance, ASUU members were paid half salaries for October, a situation that drew criticism from both the varsity teachers and the newly registered Congress of Nigerian Universities Academics (CONUA).

In a statement, the Federal Government said ASUU members were paid their October salary pro-rata, noting that they cannot be paid for work not done.

Spokesman of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olajide Oshundun, also dismissed media reports that the government was biased in paying the university teachers.

“They were paid in pro-rata to the number of days that they worked in October, counting from the day that they suspended their industrial action,” the statement partly read.

“Pro-rata was done because you cannot pay them for work not done. Everybody’s hands are tied.”

According to him, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, never directed the Accountant General of the Federation to pay the university lecturers half their salary.

The ministry equally faulted a statement by the Chairperson of ASUU, Usman Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS) branch, Muhammad Al-Mustapha, accusing Ngige of biased payment of salaries to selected professional members of the union.

Oshundun added, “Following the ruling of the Court of Appeal, which upheld the order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), asking ASUU to go back to work, the leadership of the union wrote to the Minister, informing him that they have suspended the strike.

“The Federal Ministry of Education wrote to him in a similar vein and our labour inspectors in various states also confirmed that they have resumed work.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edo Govt Denies Owing Salaries, Slams BudgIT Over Report

A file photo of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

 

The Edo State Government has described as absolutely false a report by a civic-tech organization, BudgIT, that it owes its workers, insisting that it is up to date and consistent with payment of salaries.

The government said that even local government council workers are not owed any salaries.

In a statement, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Projects, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the report was unfortunate as not only are state workers paid as and when due but also enjoy a minimum wage of N40,000, the highest in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Fire Outbreak Recorded In Section Of National Assembly

“We hereby debunk the misleading media report by a civic-tech organization, BudgIT, that the Edo State Government is owing workers six months’ salaries. The report is not only false and mischievous; it is disingenuous in its intentions,” he said.

“BudgIT obviously got its data wrong. It is regrettable that an organization that should uphold the principles of data integrity and accuracy is involved in spreading incorrect information.

“The Edo State Government does not owe state workers salaries. On the contrary, Edo is the first state to increase the minimum wage to N40,000 above the nationally approved N30,000. It has also been consistent in paying the new wage to workers.

“In fact, the government has over time made it a duty to announce the payment of salaries as soon as workers get their credits on or before the 26th day of every month.

“The Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration prioritises the welfare of its workers and has maintained a cordial relationship with workers across board, leading to a harmonious work environment in the state.”

He advised organisations developing reports on the state to seek accurate information from relevant authorities to avoid going to press with incorrect information.

ASUU Strike: No Lecturer Has Been Paid Since February – Prof Osodeke

 

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Tuesday said none of its university lecturers has been paid since the union embarked on industrial action in February.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, accused the Federal Government of using hunger as a tool to force the striking lecturers into returning to their classrooms.

READ ALSO: Again, ASUU Extends Strike By Four Weeks

Noting that their salaries have been held for the past six months, Osodeke said the current administration cannot use the force of hunger to pull the striking union members.

According to him, the Federal Government thinks that depriving the lecturers of their salaries will force the university teachers to collapse and end the strike.

“Our salaries have been held, this is the sixth month or salaries have been held. They thought that if they hold our salaries for two or three months we will come begging and say ‘pls allow us to go back to work,” the ASUU President said.

“But we as a union of intellectuals, we have grown beyond that. You can’t use the force of hunger to pull our members back which is exactly what the government is doing.”

ASUU is accusing the government of not listening to their demands.

 

ASUU on February 14 embarked on strike to press home its demands for a better welfare package, revamping of the nation’s education sector among others, a situation that has forced many Nigerian students to be at home.

Worried by the lingering industrial dispute, President Muhammadu Buhari had on July 19 directed the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to proffer a solution to the challenge and report back to him in two weeks.

The presidential ultimatum will elapse today and ASUU remains adamant until its demands are met. Not perturbed by the development, the union extended the strike by another four weeks, thus dashing the hopes of students to return to school.

Reacting to Buhari’s order to end the strike, Professor Osodeke insisted that the union is still open to negotiations with government representatives to end the industrial dispute.

He said there is no room for a master-slave relationship in the academic world, saying workers have every right to criticise a wrong policy.

The ASUU leader condemned the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), a platform the government wasn’t to use to pay lecturers their salaries.

Economic Hardship: Ghana Slashes Salaries Of Govt Appointees

(File Photo) Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo

 

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo and his ministers have cut their salaries by 30 percent under measures to reduce spending as the country struggles with higher fuel costs from the Ukraine crisis and stalled progress on a new tax, the government said on Thursday.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced that foreign travel by government appointees, except for critical missions, and the purchase of imported vehicles had been suspended with immediate effect.

He said the government hoped to save around $400 million through the measures.

READ ALSO: 16 Malian Soldiers Killed In Separate Attacks – Army

Global fuel prices have hit all-time highs because of the Russia-Ukraine war, driving up costs of living and transport in a way that has hit West African countries like Ghana hard.

Ghana’s government is also struggling to raise domestic revenue as gridlock in parliament since last year has stalled the passage of a controversial 1.75-percent E-Levy tax aimed at bringing in additional funds.

“It is important to stress, right from the onset, that the difficulties we are facing in Ghana are not peculiar to Ghana,” the minister’s statement said.

“Governments in both developed and developing countries are busily coming out with various prescriptions to bring their economies back on track, after the devastating impact of Covid-19 which distorted global supply chains, and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.”

Other measures include a 50-percent cut in fuel coupon allocations for all political appointees and heads of government institutions.

The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) said the decisions were inadequate.

“Our immediate response to the Minister of Finance is to state emphatically and unequivocally that he has lost touch with reality, he is not in-tuned with the state of the Ghanaian economy,” the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu told reporters in parliament.

Recent data published by the Bank of Ghana indicates that the country’s debt to GDP was 80.1 percent at the end of December 2021.

Neighbouring Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is also struggling with the twin problems of an unstable power supply and the doubling of the cost of diesel that many businesses use to fuel generators which keep the power going during blackouts.

AFP

‘Dialogue With Govt Has Failed’: Cross River Magistrates Protest Non-Payment Of Salaries

 

No fewer than 30 Cross River State magistrates have protested against non-payment of their 24 months salaries at the governor’s office in Calabar.

Chief Magistrate, Court of Odukpani, Safiya Ashipu, who protested along with her two sons and 29 other magistrates on Tuesday carried placards bearing different inscriptions.

The magistrates, including 11 from Obudu, where Governor Ben Ayade hails from, were drawn from the 18 council areas of the state.

Speaking to journalists, the Chief Magistrate of Cross River Govt, Solomon Abuo lamented that the state government is yet to pay them their salaries.

He explained that the protest became imperative over what he described as a failed dialogue while engaging with the relevant arms of government.

READ ALSO: Electricity Hike Another Betrayal Of Trust, Says Labour Union

“As we speak, we are all sitting magistrates manning different courts in the state, dispensing justice for the peace and tranquillity of our state, Cross River,” he said.

The Chief Magistrate of Cross River Govt, Solomon Abuo, speaks to journalists in Calabar on January 5, 2021.

 

“We kept on waiting for the state government to pay us our salary and some persons will be asking why are we protesting now?

“We decided not to protest all this while in order to give peace a chance by dialoguing with the government. Dialogue has failed.

“We have written to the executive arm of government through the Secretary to the State Government, the Attorney General of the state.

“We have written to the legislative arm of government through the Speaker, Cross River State House of Assembly on this matter, up till now no salaries.”

Unpaid Salaries: College Of Education Staff Protest At Edo Govt House

 

The members of the academic and non-academic staff, including pensioners of the College of Education, Ekiadolor, Edo State have staged a protest at the Government House in Benin City.

The workers are alleging that their salaries and pensions have not been paid since September 2019.

Speaking to Channels Television, the Chairman of the Coalition of Unions in the institution, Fred Omonuwa said the state government has not been sincere with plans of upgrading the college to a university and settle all outstanding wages owed to the staff.

Reacting to the allegations, the State Commissioner for Education, Jimoh Ijegbai insists that the unions have not fulfilled their own end of the agreement to contribute 35 percent of their wages.

According to the Commissioner, the protest is politically motivated.

Fayemi, Deputy, Ekiti Political Appointees To Slash Salaries By 50%

A file photo of Ekiti state Governor, Kayode Fayemi
A file photo of Ekiti state Governor, Kayode Fayemi.

 

 

Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, has directed that salaries of all political appointees in the state be slashed by 50 per cent with immediate effect.

The Commissioner for Information and Values Orientation in the state, Muyiwa Olumilua, confirmed this in a statement forwarded to Channels Television on Tuesday.

He explained that the pay cut would affect the governor himself, the deputy governor, the commissioners, and all political appointees down the line.

READ ALSO: Reps To Probe Legality Of Chinese Nationals In Nigeria For Repatriation

“Salaries of civil servants will not be affected by this directive and shall maintain the status quo.

“This sacrifice is for the welfare of the Ekiti people, which should take pre-eminence over and above all other considerations,” the commissioner said.

He revealed that the savings from the pay cut would be channelled into the execution, and completion of developmental projects in the state, as previously planned.

Olumilua said the governor took the decision as a result of the ravaging effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to him, the global economy has been severely affected, with the depression affecting Nigeria as a nation and Ekiti among other states.

The commissioner added that as a responsive and responsible government, the Fayemi-led administration has taken stock of its financial situation.

He stressed that the constant decreasing receipts from the Federation Account, as well as the state’s dwindling Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) has forced the government to wake up to the current realities of its fiscal position.

“With promises made to the Ekiti people while seeking their mandate, coupled with the moral duty of improving their welfare, a time for making difficult decisions is at hand, and make them we must,” Olumilua said.

He, therefore, thanked the affected political office holders for their patriotism, patience, and cooperation.

Senators Donate 50 Percent Of Salaries To Fight Against Covid-19

A file photo of lawmakers in the Senate.

 

The Nigerian Senate has announced the decision of the lawmakers to contribute 50 percent of their salaries to the fight against coronavirus in the country.

In a statement issued on Monday by the acting spokesman of the Senate, Godiya Akwashiki, the move is part of their efforts to respond to the spread and treatment of COVID-19.

“After due consultations following a keen review of the national efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, the Senate wishes to announce that from March, 2020, Distinguished Senators will be donating 50 per cent of their salaries to these efforts to stop the spread of the disease, otherwise known as COVID-19, in our country.

“This monthly contribution from the Upper Legislative Chamber will be sustained until Nigeria is declared safe from the ravages of this deadly disease,” the statement read in part.

The upper chamber also commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in handling the situation despite the rising confirmed cases of the virus.

READ ALSO: Gov Seyi Makinde Tests Positive For COVID-19

Senator Akwashiki noted that the National Assembly “is willing and ready to do whatever is required of the Legislature for the effectiveness of all the measures in place now or that may be required in the future to win the fight against this menace.”

According to him, all agencies of the Federal and state governments need to be commended for working together to protect public health across the country.

“The Senate further appeals to the citizens to comply with the directives on social distancing and observance of basic rules of hygiene as explained by  public health officials as the most effective way to protect ourselves, families and country against COVID-19.

“This is a global adversity that is testing the wit and resilience of mankind all over the world. By staying resolute and each of us responsibly playing their role, COVID-19 like all epidemics before it will soon be pushed into history,” he stated.

Sokoto Agency DG Arrested Over Alleged Diversion Of Salaries

Alleged $3.5m Fraud: Nine Nigerians Arrested In U.S.
A file photo of an arrested suspect.

 

 

The Director-General of Sokoto Marshal Agency, Abdullahi Sa’idu, has been arrested for alleged diversion of N10million meant for the payment of the salaries of workers.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) confirmed this in a statement posted on its Twitter handle on Monday.

According to the anti-graft agency, Sa’idu was arrested along with an accountant with the agency, Bashar Dodo-Iya, on Friday last week by operatives of EFCC Sokoto Zonal Office.

READ ALSO: Ramaphosa Apologises To Nigeria Over Xenophobic Attacks

It said the two suspects, who are members of the payment committee of Sokoto Marshal Corps, were arrested following a petition jointly signed and presented to the commission by 39 members of the agency.

The petitioners alleged that their three months salaries were being withheld without any reason.

They also claimed that the suspects refused to pay their salaries but diverted the money for their personal use.

The EFCC said preliminary investigation confirmed the alleged diversion of the said sum by the suspects.

It added that the duo would be charged to court as soon as it concludes investigation.

It Is Our Running Cost That People Call ‘Jumbo Pay’ – Senator Adeyeye

 

Spokesperson of the Senate, Dayo Adeyeye, has defended the pay packages of members of the Senate, saying that they deserve running costs apart from regular salaries.

According to Adeyeye, members do not enjoy any “Jumbo pay” contrary to popular belief and Nigerians need more enlightenment about the controversial matter.

Speaking to journalists in Ado, the Ekiti State capital he noted that public officers of lower status get adequate running costs for their duties hence, Senators deserve more for the responsibilities on their shoulders.

“Ordinary clerks have running cost in any organization, why should people believe senators are not entitled to running costs and they attribute that as their salaries, calling it Jumbo pay.

“Senators are entitled to running costs as well, apart from the salary. It is this running cost that people call jumbo pay which is not.

“There are over three thousand staff working for the National Assembly, are they not going to be paid? There’s a National Assembly Service Commission fully populated… (But) You just look at a senator and you say they are the ones sharing Nigeria’s money, No,” he said.

“People don’t appreciate the role of the legislator… that is why no matter how much you pay the legislature, they think it is unjustified.

“They think they don’t earn it which is not the case. But I know that with time, when we begin to engage the Nigerian public and bring them to full Knowledge of the roles of the legislature they will begin to see why the legislators should be given the enablement to perform their roles”.

Bayelsa Govt Releases Over N5bn To Pay Workers’ Salaries

Gov Dickson Challenges Scholarship Beneficiaries On Excellence

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has authorized the release of N5.6 Billion Paris Club Debt funds salary arrears owed workers during the peak of the biting economic recession in the country in 2016.

A statement signed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, stated that the state government received a total of N14.8 billion from the Federal Government.

Gov. Dickson had in a consultative meeting of top government officials and Labour leaders in December said the decision was in line with the transparency policy of his administration.

The breakdown shows the state received N13.5 billion while the local government councils received N1.37 billion.

Mr Dickson explained further that the outstanding salaries arrears were a balance of half salaries he paid for seven months during the recession in 2016.

The governor appreciated the workforce for displaying understanding during the trying period of the recession in 2016 which affected the resources of the state in an adverse way.

According to him, while most of the older states in the country have lower wage bills, Bayelsa State’s Wage Bill was over N6 billion (State and LGAs) because of the detrimental activities of some fraudulent characters.

The state’s Chief Executive lamented that the wage bill in the state had remained high, in spite of its low Internally Generated Revenue base, which he put at N500, 000 million per month on the average.

He added further that, the recurrent burden on the state had become too high as the individual Bayelsa civil servant earns almost twice the income of their counterparts in other states of the Federation.

The Governor also warned that he would not tolerate any complaint of the inability of the councils to pay salaries in the councils as from January 2018.

He stressed that the state had not deducted any money from local government funds as they had enjoyed financial autonomy from the inception of his administration.

Dickson who said that he would not fund the councils with monies from the state government urged the leadership of the councils to have a workforce which they have the capacity to train, manage and maintain.

According to him, the state could only come in to aid the primary school education sector.

The Commissioner for Finance was directed to give a statement of the total amount of money received from the Paris Club Fund said that the state received a total of N14.8 billion out of which N1.37 billion was for the local governments and N13.5 for the government of the state.

About N5.6 billion of the Fund is being spent to pay the one and a half months salary arrears owed workers in the state.

President Buhari Begs Governors To Pay Salaries

President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to state governors to address the plight of workers in their state by paying salaries.

The President made the appeal when he met with traditional rulers inside the Presidential Villa in the nation’s capital Abuja on Monday.

Workers and pensioners in many states in the country are still being owed months of salaries and the President is worried about the situation and expects that the Paris Club refunds to states would have eased the situation.

President Buhari said, “There are Nigerians that haven’t be paid for six months. There are Nigerians that haven’t been paid their retirement benefits for years. I appeal to the governors; that is why we voted money, we borrowed money.

Please, make sure (you pay) anybody under you. If he is working, he depends on the salary to pay rent, to hold his family, for education, health care…”

According to the President, in order to secure Nigeria, it is important to secure its resources.

The President also used the occasion to preach unity and love among Nigerians.

“Please, continue to pacify your people, to tell them, please think of themselves and their neighbours and their states as all Nigerians. Let us continue to bear with your people,” he told the traditional leaders, among who were the Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Sa’ad III, and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi.

“Those who stand for elections, we know our limitations. We have to continue to strengthen our constitution, to strengthen the resolve of our people. To live together, (and) to work together.”

Away from his concerns about the plight of workers, the President is happy with the level of rainfall this year. And he joked that he would have run away from the country if things had not improved.

And he joked that he would have run away from the country if things had not improved.

He said, “We were lucky last year and this year, the rainy season is even good. If it were not good, I will confide in you that I was deciding which country shall I run to. But God answered the prayers of many Nigerians. The rainy season last year was good and this year with the report I’m getting is good. We thank God for that otherwise there would have been a lot of problems in this country.”

The President assured the traditional rulers that he was aware of the problems Nigerians faced and that he is committed to addressing them.

“I will like to convince you that I am living with the problems of this country day by day and, mostly, of ordinary people,” he said.