AGF Restates Commitment to Paying Salaries, Appeals to Organised Labour.


ABUJA – (OAGF Report) – At the commencement of the just resumed indefinite strike action embarked upon by the Organised Labour, the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris restated his commitment to paying the salaries of all workers on the Federal Government payroll in spite of the erstwhile labour strike.

Ahmed Idris gave the commitment while speaking to Newsmen at the Treasury House in Abuja. “We have a standing order from Mr. President to pay workers’ salaries from the 25th of every month, which we have striven hard to fulfill to Nigerian workers and this month will not be an exception,” the AGF averred.

“The payment of salaries cannot be achieved in an atmosphere where the critical stakeholders are not allowed access to their offices. I must explain that salary payment involves a number of processes that do not begin and end with the OAGF. There are other critical stakeholders like the Cash Management Department in the Ministry of Finance and others who are supposed to do their beat before we can finalise.

He later explained that on coming to the office on the morning of Thursday September 27th 2018, he met the gates of the office locked and wondered how he could keep the promise to pay workers’ salaries, while being locked out of the office. He continued that after speaking with the local arm of the Labour in the office on the need to pay salaries, they conceded to allow him and some of his staff into the office, but the gates were still locked. He insisted that he had to therefore appeal to labour to open the gates so that he and his cohorts could have unhindered access to meet their needs.

According to the report, the AGF further appealed to the National Leadership of Labour to reconsider their stand on the on-going strike, saying the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari more than ever has demonstrated high commitments towards meeting the welfare of Nigerian workers.

He therefore enumerated some of the very salient actions the present Government has so far undertaken to improve the welfare of the workers to include the following:

i. Payment of over N50 billion for Promotion Arrears from 2012 – 2016.

ii. Approval of another N60 Billion for the payment of Salary Arrears with effect from 2011 -2016.

iii. The President’s recent approval of N22.68 Billion for the payment of pension Arrears to the retirees of the defunct Nigeria Airways workers which has been outstanding for over 14 years.

iv. President’s approval of N20 billion to meet ASUU’s demand for infrastructure development in both Federal and State Universities.

v. Federal Government policy of Non-retrenchment of workers.

vi. Provision of jobs for the teaming Nigerian unemployed youths, especially: the recruitment of over 10,000 Policemen; recruitment by the Army, Navy and Air force; recruitment by the para-military such as the Fire Service, Immigration, Nigeria Prison Service , Federal Road Safety Corps and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

vii. Appointment into various Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

viii. Payment of salaries to Federal Government workers as at when due, as well as promotion of workers as at when due.

The Accountant General urged Labour to trust Mr. President and return to the path of discussion and negotiation as the President has demonstrated enough commitment by setting up the tripartite committee. Adding, the Committee which is headed by Amal Pepple is saddled with the responsibility of consulting widely with stakeholders with a view to coming up with a realistic and acceptable minimum wage. He further cautioned that all who are working for the same system should do nothing that would threaten the economy and lead to collapse of the system.

It will be recalled that the AGF had at the end of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee meeting (FAAC) which held on Wednesday 26th of September 2018 promised that the salaries of Federal Government workers will be paid.