OYO: Ministries And Parastatals Workers Are Paid In Alphabetical Order, Levels
A staff of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), who pleaded anonymity, told The Guardian that she has no idea what to do again as the situation doesn’t seem to be nearing an end. She said her brother-in-law has been her means of survival in the last few months, as things have gone from bad to worse.
When the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) called for a warning strike last month in Oyo and Osun States, the Oyo state chapter joined the two week strike but called it off barely a week after, claiming they had negotiated with the governor who promised to settle the salary arrears before the start of Ramadan.
Ramadan commenced earlier in the week and the workers are yet to be paid. The strike was two fold: to press home their demand for their salary and to force the governor to remit the contributory pension deductions from workers’ salaries to their respective retirement saving accounts. So far, none has been achieved.
Investigations by The Guardian revealed that the various ministries and parastatals are paid in alphabetical order, and then by level. So, ministries that occur early in the alphabets get paid earlier than say, the ministry of Works for instance.
Accordingly, most ministries lobby for theirs to be moved to the top of the list so they get paid before others, but this claim has been denied by a government official who refused to have her name in print.
Many of the staff that spoke under condition of anonymity, are angry with the NLC, and they claim that they have been practically abandoned to fend for themselves. They insist that the NLC officials have been bought over by the government and that is why they are not doing more. Most people are afraid to talk to the press for fear of losing their jobs but they want the government to come to their aid as the situation has become unbearable for most families. The chairman of the states’ NLC, Dr Bashir Olanrewaju could not be reached for comments.
The last time any staff of State Broadcasting Corporation received their wage was the February salary, which was paid in May after a loud public outcry and not everyone was paid. The governor has promised to settle all outstanding salary arrears in due time, but claims that the situation is beyond his control for now.
An officer with one of the ministries in the state secretariat, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, is so bitter about the situation and is calling on the state governor and President Buhari to come to their aid. She told The Guardian that an alarming number of families are facing untold hardship as both husband and wife work in the civil service. Oyo state is a civil service state and this scenario is not uncommon. She added that many people are finding it difficult to transport themselves to work due to their dwindling or non-existent resources. That is for those that still come to work as many have stopped showing up at their duty posts.
Our source reveals that she collects money from her parents to transport herself to work and this is a situation that saddens and embarrasses her. They have also been told that they would be paid at the end of the month, but workers are not holding out much hope.
A visit to the Secretariat at Agodi gate in Ibadan lent credence to this as the usually bubbling place is now almost a shadow of its former self. Pensioners in the state civil service are not exempt from the sorry situation, as they haven’t been paid their pension allowances for several months.
Teachers, from primary school level to the tertiary level, judiciary workers are not exempt either, as they are all being owed as well. In fact, almost everyone in the state seems to be affected and people wear long faces about. Prices of foodstuffs and commodities have risen in the last month and many people are afraid of the future.
Many Muslims that started fasting this week have not been able to buy food and provisions for the Ramadan, as most of them are broke. Many bodies and associations are threatening to embark on strike actions if they are not paid at the end of the month.
All the political appointees and commissioners were relieved of their portfolios after May 29, as the state pointed out that they couldn’t afford to pay them anytime soon.