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FG, states conflict delays soldiers, others’ salaries

IwealaThe stalled Federal Account Allocation Committee meeting has resulted in a delay in the payment of the salaries of members of the military, paramilitary organisations, and state and local government employees.

THE PUNCHgathered that the October salaries of all government workers under the integrated payroll system were yet to be paid.  The salaries of the affected workers are dependent on the successful sharing of federal revenue.

The FAAC meeting of October 18 had ended in a stalemate following a disagreement between the federal and state governments over the former’s unilateral deduction of N130bn from the Federation Account for fuel subsidy.

 Since the governors’ opposition to the deductions, the Federal Ministry of Finance has not announced any date for the meeting. 

As result of the deadlocked meeting, the N1tn allocation for September could not be shared among the three tiers of government.

Our correspondents learnt that men and officers of the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigerian Police, the Nigerian Immigration Services, the Nigerian Customs Service, the State Security Services, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and other related agencies have not been paid their salaries for the month.

A soldier, who spoke to  one of our correspondents on the condition of anonymity, said that the salaries of military and paramilitary men were normally paid between the 22nd and the 25th of every month.

As at Sunday, it was not clear if the Federal Government had a contingency arrangement in place to pay the salaries of the members of the security services.

Investigation, however, revealed that the rank and file of the military who were yet to be properly informed about the cause of the delay in the payment of the October salaries were grumbling. The rumour in the barracks, especially among the rank and file, is that their commanders and the Generals were the ones “sitting” on their salaries.

A source, who confided in one of our correspondents, said senior officers in the Nigerian Army were not pleased with the development which is said to be causing disenchantment within the military.

The source said some of the top officials of the military and paramilitary organisations felt that the Federal Government’s disagreement with the states shouldn’t be allowed to affect the welfare of their men.

Investigations also revealed that some of the state governments had not released money from the Joint Allocation Account with local government areas in their domains to facilitate  the payment of salaries to local government workers.

When our correspondent contacted the Director of Information of the Nigerian Army, Brig. General Raphael Isah, he said that it would not be correct to say that soldiers were grumbling because of the delay in their October salary.

He said that the soldiers who were in charge of the preparation of the vouchers for the payment of the salaries were in a position to know whether the fund had been released by the government or not.

He said, “Soldiers are public servants, why is it that you are not talking about people who have not been paid for seven months? Why soldiers? As for the issue of soldiers saying somebody sat on their salary, how can it be true? The people who prepare vouchers are the rank and file.

“It is not the Generals that prepare files; if government releases funds why would Generals delay? Bedsides we all receive our salaries through the banks.” 

 The Caretaker Committee Chairman, Ibadan NorthWest Local Government, Mr. Wasiu Olatunbosun, who revealed that the council had started to feel the effect of the disagreement between the states and FG, said the LGA had paid the October salary since October 25.

The Information Officer, Shaki SouthWest Local Goverment, Mr. Dauda Aderogba, said the local government staff had received October salary. He, however, expressed fears that the Sovereign Wealth Fund issue could upset the LGA funding if not promptly addressed.

The Kwara State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Alhaji Faruk Akanbi, said teachers and local government workers were yet to be paid.  He, however, said civil servants had been paid. He said teachers could be paid this week if an arrangement made for that worked out.

The Chief Press Secretary to Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, in a text message to our correspondent on Sunday, said the non-sharing of the allocation would obviously affect the state negatively.

The Police  Force Public Relations Officer, Olusola Amore, blamed the ‘clearing bank’ for delaying the payment of policemen, stressing that the Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, had taken “affirmative steps” to resolve the delay.

“The IGP is using this medium to reassure the entire officers and men of the Force that this delay does not emanate from either the Force Headquarters or Police Affairs Ministry as is being speculated.  It is entirely dependent upon the actions of the disbursing authorities. The salary will be paid as soon as the problems are fully tackled,” Amore added.

-Punch

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Posted by on Oct 30 2011. Filed under Armed Forces, Latest Politics, Women Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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