Fed workers threaten strike over unpaid salaries, benefits

By The Citizen
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The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) yesterday threatened to embark on an industrial strike if the Federal Government failed to pay outstanding salary and benefits arrears due federal government workers.

The association, in a statement issued in Lagos and signed by its Secretary- General, Mr. Alade Bashir Lawal, also asked the federal government to explain to Nigerians why it could no longer pay salary to its employees as and when due, even as it issued a strike warning to the government over unpaid December salary and outstanding emoluments since July 2013.

The association described the delayed salary payment as shocking, saying that thousands of federal civil servants had not been paid their December 2013 salary.

The statement read in part: 'It is disheartening that thousands of civil servants employed by the Federal Government were not paid their December 2013 salary and so these workers and their families spent the Christmas under the pain and pang of hunger. What is also clear is that these workers, their children and other dependants will also celebrate the New Year in sadness.'

The association, therefore, called on the Federal Government 'to tell Nigerians why it could no longer pay salary to its employees as and when due.'

It added that it had become necessary for the Minister of Finance to address the nation on the embarrassing situation because she had assured that the country was not broke.

The association said: 'We wish to emphasize that if federal civil servants are not paid their December 2013 salary and arrears outstanding since July 2013 immediately, the entire federal civil service will be shut down shortly.

'It is difficult to understand why civil Servants cannot be paid their paltry salary in an economy where the political elite are carting away millions of Naira monthly as remunerations while billions of public fund are also being looted without qualms and those involved in the stealing spree are not being brought to book.' It, therefore, called on President Goodluck Jonathan to order the payment of the outstanding salary to its members without further delay.

The association said: 'We have never had a situation in this country where the Federal Government cannot pay salary of civil servants particularly during festive periods. This development is very unfortunate and is making Nigeria a laughing stock before the international community.'