Doctors and lecturers excluded as Buhari’s government begins payment of 40% salary increase arrears for workers

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The Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly started the payment of salary increase arrears to civil servants in the country.

According to Punch, only the 144,766 federal civil servants under the Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure will benefit from the new 40 percent peculiar allowance introduced by the Federal Government.

This implies that other workers under the employment of the Federal Government but operating under different salary structures will not benefit.

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For instance, university workers, who are under the Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure, and medical doctors, who work for the Federal Government, will also not benefit from the pay rise as they are under the Consolidated Medical Salary Scale.

Other categories of federal workers who will not benefit from the peculiar allowance are nurses, non-academic workers in tertiary institutions, the police and members of the armed forces, among others.

In a memo obtained by a Punch correspondent on Saturday, the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission headed by Ekpo Nta noted that only 144,766 staff members of the federal civil service under the CONPSS salary structure would be paid.

Ekpo said in a memo addressed to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, which was sighted by our correspondent on Saturday, “I refer to my letter No. SWC/S/04/S,651/11/271 dated 24th of February, 2023 and the conclusions of the 11th meeting of the Presidential Committee on Salaries held on 7th of March, 2023 on the above-mentioned subject and convey approval for the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to implement the peculiar allowance attached herewith for staff on the Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure.”

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“This approval takes effect from 1st of January, 2023 and the estimated sum of seventy nine billion, three hundred and seventy-three million, three hundred and forty thousand, nine hundred and fifty-nine Naira (N79,373,340,959.00) per annum required to implement it for the 144,766 staff on CONPSS will be funded from the treasury.

“The commission will periodically monitor the implementation of this approval through salary inspections.”

In a breakdown attached to the memo, the commission stated that a total of 144,766 staff members would benefit from the payment.

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Recall that the Minster for Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige had earlier disclosed that the Federal Government approved a pay raise for civil servants in the country.

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He added that the pay rise had been included in the 2023 budget, noting that it would take effect from January 1, 2023.

Ngige described the pay raise as a peculiar allowance for civil servants in view of the current economic reality and it was meant to help government workers to cushion the effects of rising inflation, the rising cost of living, and hikes in transportation fare, housing, and electricity tariffs.

ASUU, however, protested the exclusion of its members from the payment of the peculiar allowance.

The National President of the union, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, accused the government of trying to create problems in the system, adding that ASUU would study the situation on the ground and make its stand known soon.

“We just saw the news this evening that arrears are being paid to workers. We are surprised. However, we will study the situation. The government is simply trying to create a problem in the system. We are watching and we are studying the situation of things on the ground,” he told our correspondent on the telephone.

The government will spend N79.37bn annually to fund the pay rise, even as some workers have started enjoying the largesse.

The amount, according to the information obtained, will be funded by the treasury.

Some federal civil servants, who spoke to our correspondent on Saturday, said they had started receiving bank alerts of the arrears for the first three months of the year.

A high-ranking civil servant in Ilorin the Kwara State, who spoke on condition of anonymity, noted that the arrears came in alongside the April salary.

“I received my own arrears today (Saturday). Some of our other colleagues have also confirmed receipt of the arrears. It came in alongside our April salaries,” the civil servant said.

An Ibadan-based civil servant, who confirmed the development, said, “Yes, it is true. Though I am a teacher in a Federal Government school, I can confirm to you that I received my April salary alongside the arrears.”

The government of Buhari had proposed a 40 percent pay rise for workers to cushion the effects of the planned removal of fuel subsidy.

The spokesman for the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Olajide Oshundun, said the pay rise would be applicable to all workers from level 1 to 17.

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