Minister Of Finance Debunks Rumour of Sacking Federal Government Workers
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has debunked rumors of the Federal Government sacking its workers.
Zainab Ahmed affirmed this on ‘Good morning Nigeria’ a program held on NTA this morning.
According to the minister, the administration of President Buhari has no plans to sack federal workers, however, the government is willing to give incentives to federal workers who are ready to resign from their work.
She said, “Mr. President doesn’t want to disengage staff. That is what he has directed from the beginning of his administration. He also directed that we pay salaries. The Federal Government has never failed in paying salaries and he said we must always pay pensions.
“So, he has been consistent in those directives and we have followed those directives to the letter.”
In respect to the government’s plan to cut operational costs, the finance minister said the government planned to merge government agencies.
Ahmed said, “Well, we do hope that at the end of the exercise, some agencies will be merged and it will cut down operational costs.
“And also we will be able to come up with incentive packages to retrain people and redeploy them in some areas where they are useful. For example, we still have a very high need for teachers so we can retrain people and send them to teach but also incentive packages to exit. Again, that is also money. If you want people to exit you have to pay them.
“That is an incentive package so that they can go. That is why it is taking a lot of time because it is not easy to decide on this. Everything centers on resources. We need resources and if we had a lot of money, we would just give very beautiful incentive packages and people would exit and go and start their businesses and we would reduce the size of the personnel cost.”
Edo State Governor Warns of Looming Economic Crisis in Nigeria
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has issued a warning about a potential economic crisis in Nigeria.
Speaking during the 2023 May Day celebration in Benin City, Governor Obaseki said that the Federal Government may not be able to pay workers’ salaries beyond June 2023 without resorting to measures such as massively printing money or removing fuel subsidy.
The Governor, who addressed the theme of the celebration, “Workers’ rights and socio-economic justice,” urged workers in the country to hold the government accountable for its policies and programs.
He also charged workers to champion discussions on subsidy removal, insisting that the burden and pain of such measures must not be carried by workers alone.
Governor Obaseki reaffirmed his commitment to the welfare of workers in Edo State, noting that they are currently the best-paid workers in Nigeria.
He promised to match the federal government’s minimum wage and hand over a cheque to state workers the day the federal government is able to pay its new minimum wage.
The Governor added that Edo State currently does not owe arrears of promotion, as he has approved the promotion of all staff for 2022.
He acknowledged the contributions of workers to the growth and development of the state, hailing them as the unsung heroes of society and the engine that powers the economy.
Governor Obaseki’s warning about a looming economic crisis in Nigeria comes amidst growing concerns about the country’s economic outlook. With declining oil prices, inflation, and rising unemployment, Nigeria’s economic prospects have been uncertain in recent times.
However, the Governor’s commitment to prioritizing workers’ welfare and implementing reforms could help mitigate the impact of any economic downturn.
Nigeria’s Public Servants to Receive 40% Pay Raise From End of April
The Nigerian government has announced that it will begin payment of the planned increase in civil servants’ pay by the end of April 2023.
The fresh pay increase, tagged consequential allowance, will lead to a 40% rise in the current pay of government workers from level 1 to level 17.
Officials of the Federal Government stated that the increase is effective from January 2023, and the three months arrears of January, February, and March will be paid at a later date.
This increase is expected to cushion the effects of rising inflation, rising cost of living, hikes in transportation fare, housing, and electricity tariffs, which have contributed to the country’s highest rate of inflation since September 2005.
The pay rise was included in the 2023 budget and was approved by the Federal Government as a peculiar allowance for civil servants in view of the current economic reality.
However, leaders of the organized labor have described the proposed pay rise as a meager allowance that would not be equivalent to a 40% increase in workers’ salaries. They are urging the government to consider an increment of other allowances such as rent and transportation.
This pay increase comes at a time when Nigeria is facing a challenging economic situation due to rising inflation, insecurity, and other socio-economic issues.
The government’s decision to increase civil servants’ pay is a step in the right direction and will go a long way in improving the welfare of government workers.
Aviation Workers Threaten Strike Over Government’s Refusal to Release Reviewed Condition of Service Negotiations
Aviation workers’ unions in Nigeria have threatened to go on strike over the government’s refusal to release the reviewed conditions of service that were negotiated over seven years ago.
The workers are also aggrieved over the non-implementation of the National Minimum Wage consequential adjustments and arrears for workers of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency since 2019.
In addition, the union has rejected the planned demolition of aviation agency buildings in Lagos to pave the way for an airport city project initiated by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
The workers have issued a two-day warning strike notice signed by the secretaries general of five aviation unions – National Union of Air Transport Employees, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreation Services Employees.
If the warning strike, scheduled to commence on April 17, fails, the unions have threatened to embark on an indefinite strike.
The workers have directed their members to comply with the directive, and all state councils, branches, and executives have been mandated to enforce the directive.
Copies of the notice of the warning strike have been sent to the Airport Command of the Nigerian Police Force, Airport Commandants of the Nigerian Air Force, Department of State Services, chief executive officers of aviation agencies, and foreign airlines. The situation may disrupt aviation services in Nigeria if the industrial action sails through.
The government needs to address the workers’ grievances to prevent the strike, which may lead to a total shutdown of the aviation sector. It is important for both parties to dialogue and find a solution that will benefit everyone involved.
The aviation workers deserve fair compensation and good working conditions, and the government must ensure that their demands are met. Failure to do so will result in the loss of revenue, and it will affect the overall economy of the country.
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