Despite N1.8tn Bailout, 17 States Owe Workers’ Salaries, Pensions

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By Ebere Nwoji

Despite the whooping N1.8 trillion bailout fund distributed to state governments by the federal government to settle workers’ salaries and pension liabilities, about 17 states are said to be still owing workers’ salaries and pensioners’ entitlements.

Some of the states involved in this regard are Osun, Abia, Benue, Bayelsa, Kwara, Imo, Ekiti, Oyo, Ondo, Zamfara and Kogi.

According to a recent survey conducted by BudgIT,  a civic organisation that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement, to facilitate societal change,  12 states are yet to fully offset the amount owed to  secondary school teachers while many states are threatening workers to keep the information away from public domain.

The survey, said Osun State has been paying secondary school teachers above level 8 only a fraction of their salaries and entitlement for the last 30 months. 

“Cumulatively, Osun State is owing secondary school teachers above Grade Level 8 about 15 months’ salaries.  Other states with outstanding liabilities to teachers include: Abia, Benue, Bayelsa, Kwara, Imo, Ekiti, Oyo, Ondo, Zamfara. Kogi, for instance, is owing teachers about 13 months’ salaries, according to the response given by secondary school teachers during the survey”.

According to budgIT’s survey result signed by its Head of Communications, Mr. Ayomide Faleye, health workers in the states are not immune  from the ugly situation as  midwives, whose responsibility includes attending to issues around pregnancy, child birth, postpartum, women’s sexual and reproductive health and newborn care, are also bugged down by the same issue as their state governments failed to  pay  their salaries and emolument as at when due. 

“Midwives were questioned  during the survey across the 36 states. BudgIT discovered that 10 states are owing midwives salaries as at close of business on September 24, 2018,” the survey, said.

On pension entitlements, the survey result said: “Delta, Imo, Abia, Osun, Plateau, Bayelsa, Ekiti  and 11 other states owe pensioners entitlement ranging from  1 month to 36 months. Almost all pensioners expressed how unhappy they are, their dissatisfaction with the government and how hard it has been for them to survive despite years of hard work in the service.”

According to BudgIT, the survey  aimed at ascertaining the frequency and magnitude of challenges civil servants and pensioners are encountering,focused on three different categories of workers in all 36 states namely: primary and secondary school teachers, state midwives and state secretariat workers.