• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Subsidy Removal: Civil servants excited as FG resumes wage award payment

Inflation outpaces Nigeria’s real wages by 100%

Many civil servants in federal ministries and agencies have expressed excitement following the Federal Government’s resumption of payment of the wage awards it promised workers in 2023.

Some civil servants who spoke to BusinessDay confirmed the receipt of the wage award. They said it was an additional income to meet the needs of their households at this critical time.

The wage award was part of the agreements reached between the organised labour and Federal Government, to cushion the impact and hardship unleashed on workers following the petrol subsidy removal by the Tinubu-led administration.

President Bola Tinubu, shortly after announcing the removal of the petrol subsidy in May 2023, promised to give a N35,000 wage award to federal government workers, however, this was suspended last year.

The organised labour made up of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) protested the government’s suspension of the payments and recently threatened an industrial action if the government failed to resume the payment.

“I was glad when I received the payment because I was not expecting it. I’m excited about this payment because it will go a long way to settle some expenses.

“The cost of living is increasing daily, the amount I spend to get to the office has increased significantly and it is taking a toll on my finances. If this payment of N35,000 is sustained, it will make transportation a lot easier,” Joy Useni, a staff at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, told BusinessDay.

Also speaking, a staff at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) confirmed the payments for November/ December 2023.

She said, “I received mine on Tuesday, and I was paid for two months November and December 2023. The payment was N35,000 for each month.

“I hope they continue with the payment, it will help us deal with this high cost of transportation and even feeding. Presently, every kobo is important; some may see it as small N35,000 but to me and many others, it is appreciated at this time.”

A staff at the Ministry of Information, who pleaded anonymity, expressed excitement, as he confirmed receiving payment for three months.

He commended the government’s effort in ensuring that the backlogs were cleared, “I just received the payment for the third month like an hour ago, this is so good to see.

“Some of my colleagues in other ministries have even received for the fourth month, but for information ministry, we have received for three months and we are hopeful that we will get the fourth month soon,” he said.