- NLC, TUC Urge FG to Address Salary Disparity in Public Sector
The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, and his Trade Union Congress counterpart, Bala Kaigama, on Thursday called on the Federal Government to address the pay disparity in the public sector.
Both leaders spoke at a symposium to mark the 25th anniversary of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission.
The event was attended by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha; the Executive Chairman, NSIWC, Dr Richard Egbule; and other government officials.
Wabba, who spoke first, said there was a need for the government to come up with a compensation system to boost productivity.
He said, “We are in a system where you have today more than 25 salary structures, when we mention the principle of equal pay for equal productivity.
“If you are in a privileged organisation, you can even earn higher than your colleague with the same qualification and in some cases the productivity is higher than the other and that is where the contradiction is.
“Our compensation process should be a process that can stimulate productivity because the two work together. If a worker is not paid, he cannot take care of his family and pay school fees.
“It is with a better condition of service and compensation that I will be able to think well, work well, and therefore the two must come together to work together.”
On the issue of minimum wage, the NLC President said while South Africa had approved a minimum wage of over N150,000, Nigeria was still battling with how to pay the proposed N30,000 minimum wage.
He said, “The theme is very central because we are in a system today where people think that paying compensation is doing a favour but it should be seen from the perspective of doing it for work done.
“So it is not in any way doing a favour when a worker works to earn a living and should therefore be seen from that perspective.”
He added, “We have heard the argument where our governors are saying that workers are a tiny minority, I do not know the tiny minority among the political class and the working class.
“They are the tiny minority because how can you say that our workers, the police, the armed forces, that without them they cannot sleep with their eyes closed are the tiny minority.”
Kaigama said the compensation system as engendered by the NSIWC in the public service over the years, had not been fair to core civil servants.
He said, “As the President of the TUC, I am aware that the unfair salary structure in the public service has been of great concern for our members who serve as the engine room at all levels of governmental.
“For instance, there are so many salary structures in the public service, and of all the structures in existence, that which concerns the civil service is the lowest.
“Very recently, the salary of the police was reviewed upwards and when you look at the upper echelon (of the police), what is going on there compared to the upper echelon of the civil service the gap is just too wide.
“It’s therefore becoming extremely difficult to explain the reasons for these salary structures.
“You may be surprised to know that in some agencies and parastatals of government, junior officers earn as much as N200,000 per month while officers in the directorate level in core ministries that supervise these parastatals receive less than that.”
He said the TUC had packaged a memorandum on salary review for core civil servants and had submitted same to the Federal Government for action.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, General Services Office, Mr Olusegun Adekunle, the SGF said any public office-holder who pays himself above the approved salary would be punished.
Mismanagement of Public Funds and Resources Will Destroy Nigeria, Says Stakeholders
Some concerned stakeholders have said the broad-based financial misappropriation, abuse of public office by Public Officeholders and unchecked borrowing will destroy the nation’s present and future if not checked.
According to Auwal Musa, the Executive Director, CISLAC, who spoke at a stakeholders’ dialogue on ‘Policies, Gaps and Alternatives in Fiscal Transparency in Private Sector Governance,’ organised by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), and Transparency International (TI), with support from OXFAM’s country office in Nigeria, abuse of power and financial recklessness as been going on for far too long.
Musa said, “This has been going on for too long, and every singular effort from the citizens is termed as hate or unpatriotic. Meanwhile, the consequences of this anomaly are staring us in the face on a daily basis and are on the increase. Increased poverty; banditry allegedly occasioned by rising unemployment; and unpatriotic citizens trooping into leadership positions to perpetuate the looting and misappropriation due to no oversight and punitive sanctions, not to mention health, infrastructure and societal decay. The list is inexhaustible.”
He also implored the Government that in order to reduce the excessive misuse of public resources, mismanagement of finances and strengthen the financial management system, the holes that encourage people to evade and undermine the collection of taxes must be bridged and in-depth economic improvement devised to close policy gaps.
“There are many areas in which the government can increase its revenue drive. For instance, in the Oil and Gas sector, there are a lot of gaps as a result of lack of a clear legal framework through the PIB, which will enable the sector to be more efficient, transparent and competitive. Again, the oil theft needs to be blocked; other areas like maritime revenue can be harnessed in these sectors.
“Also, the government should block the areas where revenues are supposed to be collected and are not collected. For instance, the audit report clearly shows how the government is losing revenue.” he said.
The stakeholders urge policymakers to look for other sources of revenue that can guarantee development in Nigeria.
Also, speaking at the event was the Programme Manager, Tax, Justice, Environment and Conservation of Nature, CISLAC, Chinedu Bassey, who said one of the reasons to strengthen the Nigerian financial management system is to stop people from stealing and mismanaging resources meant for development.
Iheme Madukairo, the Manager, Large Tax Audit, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), advised Nigerians who evade taxes to stop such act that the law will take its course.
He said “Enforcement is out there, sleeves are rolled up to do the job that we are mandated to do by the act and sooner or later, we will catch up with them. The sanctions have also increased by virtue of the finance act. The penalty has been increased, once it is found out that it is a deliberate act to breach the law, the law will take its course.”
Lai Mohammed Says Buhari Has Recovered Over N800bn in Looted Funds
Buhari Has Recovered Over N800bn in Looted Funds
President Muhammadu Buhari government has recovered over N800 billion looted by corrupt Nigerians since the beginning of this administration in 2015.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, disclosed this on Tuesday at a press conference held in Abuja.
He said, “This administration’s fight against corruption is as strong as ever, and we have the records to back up this claim.
“This administration has recorded over 1,400 convictions, including high profile ones, and recovered funds in excess of N800bn, not to talk of forfeiture of ill-gotten properties.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has made recovery of Nigeria’s stolen assets one of his priorities since he became president in 2015.
Several of Nigeria’s untouchables have been convicted despite political experts and social commentators saying the war against corruption should not be only against opposition but also against those in the ruling party that seems to have been overlooked.
Still, the ruling party has insisted that members of the party have been convicted and one of such is Kalu.
President Buhari Names Railway Stations After Tinubu, Jonathan, Fashola, Others
Buhari Names Railway Stations After Prominent Nigerians
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday named railway stations after Tinubu, Jonathan and other prominent Nigerians.
In a statement released through the Ministry of Transportation and signed by Eric Ojiekwe, Director, Press and Public Relations of the Ministry, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed that the deserving citizens have contributed to the progress and development of their respective communities and the nation at large.
According to the statement, for the Lagos-Ibadan with extension to the Lagos Port Complex at Apapa railway station, the beneficiaries are:
Bola Ahmed Tinubu (Apapa station)
Mobolaji Johnson (Ebute Metta Station)
Babatunde Raji Fashola (Agege station),
Lateef Jakande (Agbado station) and
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (Kajola station).
Others are Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (Papalanto station)
Prof. Wole Soyinka (Abeokuta station),
Aremo Segun Osoba(Olodo station)
Chief Ladoka Akintola (Omio-Adio station)
Chief Obafemi Awolowo (Ibadan station)
and Chief Alex Ekwueme (Operation Control Centre)
For the Itakpe-Ajaokuta/Aladja-Warri Railway, the names are:
Alhaji Adamu Attah (Itakpe station)
Dr. Olushola Saraki (Ajaokuta station)
Admiral Augustus Aikhomu (Itogbo station)
Brigadier General George Innih (Agenebode station)
Anthony Eromosele Enahoro (Uromi station)
Chief Tom Ikimi (Ekehen station) and
Brig. Gen. Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia (rtd) (Igbanke station)
Others according to the statement include:
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (Agbor Station Complex)
Brigadier General David Ejoor (Abraka station)
Micheal Ibru (Opara station)
Alfred Rewane (Ujevwu station) and
Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe (Railway Village, Agbor).
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