17 States owe salaries, pensions despite N1.8trn bailout – BudgIT

President Muhammadu Buhari released N1.8 trillion as bailout funds for payment of salaries to civil servants at the State level
President Muhammadu Buhari released N1.8 trillion as bailout funds for payment of salaries to civil servants at the State level

Seventeen states in Nigeria owe workers salaries and pensions despite receiving N1.8 trillion bailout from the Federal Government of Nigeria to pay these arrears.

Worried by the lingering salaries and pensions owed workers, BudgIT carried out a survey with the hope of knowing to what extent workers are owed.

The civic tech organisation noted that some states are yet to fully offset the outstanding amount owed pensioners and civil servants despite series of bailouts for this purposes.

“The survey aimed at ascertaining the frequency and magnitude of challenges civil servants and pensioners are encountering,” BudgIT said in a statement on Monday.

“The survey focused on three different categories of workers in all 36 states namely: primary and secondary school teachers, state midwives and state secretariat workers.

“Also, attention was paid to ascertain if retirees at the state level are receiving pensions as at when due.”

From the survey carried out, BudgIT discovered that 12 states are yet to offset the amount owed secondary school teachers fully and many states are threatening workers to keep the information away from public domain.

Notable among them are Osun and Kogi state.

Kogi, Osun and Benue owe workers over five month salary
Kogi, Osun and Benue owe workers over five month salary

“Osun State has been paying secondary school teachers above level 8 only a fraction of their salaries and entitlement for the last 30 months,” the data-driven company said.

“Cumulatively, Osun state is owing secondary school teachers above level 8 about 15 months salary.

“Other states with outstanding liabilities to states include Abia, Benue, Bayelsa, Kwara, Imo, Ekiti, Oyo, Ondo and Zamfara. Kogi State, for instance, is owing teachers about 13 months salaries according to the response given by secondary school teachers during the survey.”

Midwives, whose responsibility includes attending to issues around pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, women’s sexual and reproductive health and newborn care – are also bugged down by issues including failure of some state to pay  salaries and emolument as at when due.

“Midwives were questioned  during the survey across the 36 states and BudgIT discovered that 10 states are owing midwives salaries as at close of business on September 24, 2018.”

Delta, Imo, Abia, Osun, Plateau, Bayelsa, Ekiti  and 11 other states owe pensioners entitlement ranging from  1 month to 36 months.

“Almost all pensioners expressed how unhappy they are, their dissatisfaction with the government and how hard it has been for them to survive despite years of hard work up into service,” the statement read.

“BudgIT hereby ask States to offset outstanding liabilities to its workers and pensioners as funds in form of bailout estimated to be in the region of N1.8 trillion have been issues to states to offset all outstanding liabilities owe workers.”

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