-says Govt officials living in affluence while asking us to tighten our belt
By Michael Oche
Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has urged the federal government to, with immediate effect, pay all federal civil servants their ₦35,000 wage award as agreed during a meeting that was held following the removal of fuel subsidy.
TUC president Festus Osifo who addressed journalists on Tuesday at the end of the congress’ emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, said their members in the federal civil service have not received the wage award since October.
According to him, the payment has been made just once, noting that the government has ceased paying their members the N35, 000 for a couple of months.
He said, “We learned that they are currently putting some things in place to pay this money. But people are not ready to listen to excuses. All we want is that this money should be paid in the account of our member until the new minimum wage is put in place.”
He noted that the hardship occasioned by rising cost of living is having effects on workers, saying that it is unfair for the government to be asking Nigerians to tighten their belt while officials live in affluence.
He said, “We want the government to tighten their belts, governments at all levels – the Federal Government, the state and local governments because a situation where they are asking Nigerians to keep tightening their belts and they (government officials) are living in affluence is not acceptable.”
Osifo also decried rising debt burden by the federal government, adding that the continuously increasing debt profile has put a huge burden on Nigerians.
He said, “And this year’s budget is also a deficit project. And the level of borrowing is growing on a daily basis. And the amount of money we require is growing on a daily basis in such a way that the amount of money we require to service debt is not catching up with our national revenue. And this is problematic. We are always told that the index to GDP ratio is accommodating. Yes, that is true, but the debts are revenue is worrisome. I want government to look into this as soon and as fast as possible”