The Federal Government has set aside N10bn to offset promotion arrears of civil servants on its payroll.
The government promised to ensure that only those qualified benefitted from the funds, a statement by the Ministry of Labour and Employment signed by the Deputy Director (Press), Mr. Samuel Olowookere, said.
The statement obtained on Friday said that decision to address the lingering issue of unpaid salaries was made in a meeting attended by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige; the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma; the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita.
The ministry said this was in compliance with the directive by the government that outstanding allowances on promotion, 28 days relocation, repatriation, training, burial expenses and death benefits to public servants be paid.
The ministry said, “The Federal Government further demonstrated its commitment to permanently resolve the lingering issue of unpaid salary arrears and allowances of public servants with a meeting by the Hon. Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige; the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita.
“The meeting which held in furtherance of the directive of the Federal Executive Council of 24/05/2017 displayed the efforts and iron cast determination of the Federal Government to clear all arrears such as outstanding allowances on promotion, 28 days relocation, repatriation, training, burial expenses and death benefits to public servants.”
“The meeting further stated that the Federal Government since that Federal Executive Council decision, through the office of the Accountant General of the Federation was already processing the sum of N10bn for the payment of promotion arrears with modalities for payment being worked out to make sure that wrong persons are not paid this first olive-waving step of the Federal Government.”
The ministry stated that a sum of N14.6bn had earlier been disbursed in early 2017 to cater to the salary arrears arising from the shortfalls in the 2016 budget.
It added that the government’s decision was anchored on a clear understanding that clearing the arrears formed part of the palliative measures being taken to cushion the harsh economic realities affecting the public servants.
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria had earlier issued a 14-day strike notice, whose ultimatum ended on May 30, 2017, over the issue.