By Olawale Ajimotokan
The federal government has set up a committee to address the problem of fund shortage that has stalled the payment of October salaries to workers in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
However, it assured them that steps have been taken to resolve the matter and the salaries might be paid this week.
The Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HoS), Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, in a statement yesterday, said a committee made up of representatives of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Budget Office and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation had been set up to determine the shortfalls of MDAs.
According to her, the shortfalls are to be paid from the lump sum already set aside in the budget for the minimum wage and its consequential adjustment.
The committee is expected to conclude its work by the end of this week so that salaries can be paid.
While appreciating civil servants for their patience, the HoS stated that she is in touch with the Director-General, Budget Office, who assured her that salaries will be paid by the end of this week.
Earlier in another statement by the Director of Information, Office of Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Olawunmi Ogunmosunle, Yemi-Esan had attributed the salary delay to the fact that the 2020 budget was passed before the conclusion of negotiations on the new minimum wage and its consequential adjustment.
She added that a lump sum was, however, provided in 2020 budget for minimum wage and its consequential adjustment.
The HoS’ clarification followed a report of outcry in the civil service that prompted some workers from MDAs to storm her office yesterday to protest the delay in the payment of salaries for October.
The statement, however, dismissed the report of protest by aggrieved workers.
It also said the committee that was constituted was at the behest of the Budget Office, tasking each MDA to work out what was needed to take care of the increase for the money to be paid from what was set aside for 2020 based on past provisions that were exhausted.
“First, let me start by stating that there is (was) no protest in the HoS office. Secondly, let me explain the delay in payment of salaries for October.
Enough provision was made for salaries for the year 2020 based on past provisions. Some percentage of the allowance was also set aside to take care of the salary increase. The provision made based on the previous salary has been exhausted. The Budget Office has therefore called on each MDA to work out what is needed to take care of the increase for the money to be paid from what was set aside. The committee is working on it. It is expected that it will be concluded this week and salaries will be paid,” the statement said.