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Federal Workers In 90 MDAs Yet To Get January Salaries

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Federal civil servants in about 90 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are yet to receive their January salaries, Daily Trust can report.

The affected MDAs include the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHoCSF), the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, the Ministry of Education, the National Population Commission, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Voice of Nigeria, among others.

In separate interviews with Daily Trust and Premium Times, the workers lamented and said their December 2023 salary delay experience ought not to have been repeated.

“As I am talking to you, myself and three of my colleagues have not been paid. The situation is not fair not with the current situation of the daily increment of prices of food items and other things in the country,” one of the workers said.

Others alleged that the delay in the payment of their salaries was an indication that the government was insensitive to the sufferings of the masses.

The delay in the December salary payment had been attributed to technical issues relating to upload and harmonization of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

The delay in the payment of January salaries was blamed on the technical glitch on the Government Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMIS) platform by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF).

GIFMIS is an IT-based system for budget management and accounting put in place by the federal government to improve public expenditure management processes and enhance greater accountability and transparency across ministries and agencies.

A January 31 memo titled, ‘Delay in the Payment of January 2024 Salary’, from the bursary department of the National Mathematics Centre, Abuja, to all its staff, signed by the acting bursar, Pius Ukwah, said, “We wish to inform you that January 2024 salaries will be delayed beyond normal.

“As of today, the OAGF is still working on finalising the 2024 appropriation on the GIFMIS platform and as a result, the personnel warrant for January is yet to be released”.

The memo, which copied the Director/CE, the Registrar and pasted on all notice boards, stated further, “The same situation applies to all MDAs and not just the centre. We regret the inconvenience caused by this delay.”

In Ekiti State, some of the workers who spoke with Premium Times included staff of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti; Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN); National Orientation Agency (NOA), and Federal Ministry of Information, among others.

An official of FUOYE, Wole Balogun, said with the hardship being faced by the people, it was inconceivable that salaries could be delayed longer than necessary.

Balogun, who blamed the delay on an unnecessary bureaucratic bottleneck associated with the payment platforms, urged the federal government to expedite action on the payment, “because the situation is becoming unbearable.”

A staffer of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Folashade Daramola, also lamented the delay. She noted that many members of staff have loan obligations that they ought to have paid as at when due, which have remained pending.

Also, Owoeye Ilesanmi, who is a staffer of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), said that in addition to delay in the payment of January salary, the federal government has reneged on the payment of the wage award.

In Katsina State, many federal workers spoken to also said they had not been paid their salary and palliatives support from the government.

Some of the affected workers told Premium Time that the delay was affecting their work schedule, as they now find it difficult to go to work, especially those living in areas far from their offices.

“I work in a department that requires me to go to the office every day, but I’ve finished my savings and I’m finding it difficult to travel to Dutsin Ma to undertake my responsibility,” Faruk (surname withheld), who is an engineer with the department of Physical Planning and Works at the Federal University, Dutsin Ma, said.

Another non-academic worker of the Federal Polytechnic, Daura, who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation, said the delay in salary payment was affecting her activities, especially because she travelled daily from Katsina to Daura.

An official of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in Edo State, Jude Abugu, described the delay in payment of salaries as commonplace in recent months.

A memo from the Accountant-General’s Office said work was ongoing towards finalising the 2024 budget on the GIFMIS platform.

When contacted last night, the Director of Press and Public Relations at the OAGF, Bawa Mokwa, told Daily Trust that about 90 offices across the MDAs were affected, including some universities and polytechnics.

He, however, said many of the workers had started receiving their salaries on Thursday; while others did on Friday and at the weekend.

“The issue was attributed to issue of uploading the 2024 budget and making it current because the salary was paid from the 2024 budget instead of the tradition where they overlap the budget,” he explained.

“All has been finalized on Friday. They are supposed to have started getting since yesterday (Saturday). If they don’t get, maybe it is from the banks, from tomorrow (Monday) morning, definitely they will get it”.

A top official in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, who insisted on not being named, said the delay in salary payment was not a punishment for workers.

He confirmed receiving his salary, but said he was aware that some of his “superior officers and some junior workers are yet to receive theirs.”

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Bandits Abduct Fouani MD, 3 Others ….Demand $1.5m Ransom

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Armed men, on Friday, abducted the Managing Director of Fouani Company, which represents LG and Hisense, along with three Lebanese while travelling by boat in Lagos, PUNCH Online reports.

Although the names of the victims have not been ascertained, it was learnt that they were abducted around Falomo Bridge while traveling from Apapa to Victoria Island.

A source familiar with the incident, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of its sensitive nature, told PUNCH Online that the kidnappers had reached out, demanding ransom.

“Yesterday (Friday) evening, the Managing Director of Fouani company (LG and Hisense) and three Lebanese were kidnapped around Falomo Bridge while traveling from Apapa to Victoria Island by boat.

“The kidnappers have asked for $1.5m,” the source said.

When contacted, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the development.

“Yes, it is true. We got the report and we are looking into it. Please, I’m not obliged to state more than that,” he simply said.

When our correspondent asked about the details of the names of the abducted persons, Hundeyin insisted, “I’m not obliged to state the names, when, where and how it happened for now but we are looking into it.”

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SEE Pictures from the National prayers session organised by the national Hajj commission of Nigeria (NAHCON)

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

SEE Pictures from the National prayers session organised by the national Hajj commission of Nigeria (NAHCON)

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Group raises alarm over looming food shortage in Southwest

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..… calls on govt to provide security, incentives to farmers

By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

A Yoruba socio-political group, Yoruba Commitment Forum (YCF) has raised an alarm about the looming food shortage in the South West region of the country.

The group said, though, the impending food insecurity is a national crisis, stressing that its impact on Yorubaland is going to be calamitous.

This was contained in a statement jointly signed by Otunba Hon Tayo Onayemi, Barr. Akeem Aponmade,

Barr. Femi Mokikan, Otunba Niyi Sodiya, Mrs. Buky Tunde Oshunrinde and Mrs. Sola Maja, and made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

The YCF attributed the looming food shortage to the invasion and destruction of farmlands by rampaging Fulani herders.

The group, while calling for adequate security of farmers and their farmlands, equally appealed to the federal government to adequately compensate whose farmlands were destroyed and as well give them financial incentives, to encourage them to go back to farm.

The statement titled, “Nigeria’s headaches, food insecurity in Yorubaland”, read, “we have observed that for about seven years now, Fulani herdsmen have been engaging in a relentless destruction of farmlands and settlements in Yorubaland. These criminal Fulani elements resorted to kidnapping, raping, maiming and killing of farmers and Yoruba sons and daughters.

“Neither the governments at any level, nor Fulani herdsmen’s apologists would claim ignorance of the atrocious activities of these ruthless people. Video recordings of their wicked actions suffuse the internet. The end result is that farmers began to be scared off their farms gradually until now when farms have been completely abandoned.

“When this started years ago, foresighted individuals raised concerns; they warned about the potential danger of food insecurity beginning with rising food prices and the need to ensure a stable food supply. It appears that Southwest was deliberately targeted and the invasion of our farmlands was the execution of a conscious plan to starve our people to death.

“We, the Yoruba Nation agitators, cried out for help against the brazen onslaught, but none came from the federal government led by a Fulani man.

“Unfortunately, the hens have now come home to roost as the consequences of our action, and inaction, are now here for real with food shortages and very high prices making it increasingly difficult for our people to access the basic necessity of food.

“Before the current situation spirals out of control, we hasten to inform the government that there is no alternative to large scale farming which Fulani herdsmen have destroyed by waging a war against farmers. Subsistence farming through the backyards, as good as it is, cannot serve the purpose of assuring any people of food security. Farmlands in the South West must be made very safe.

“We state emphatically that the situation whereby a basket of tomatoes is sold for #4000 in the North while the same is sold in Yorubaland for #150,000 is callous, ruthless and unacceptable to us.

We also call for assistance to use cheaper rail transport among others to assist our market men and women. Other regions do this, why not here in Yorubaland?

“Secondly, governments must incentivise farmers whose investments have been destroyed during the war of attrition waged against them by Fulani terrorists. Without government’s financial assistance, there is no way most farmers will be able to go back to farming, even if security of their lives and new investments are assured”, the statement concluded.

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