Editorial

Easter without salaries

Nobody has spoken out for Nigerian workers over this question of being sent home to spend Christmas and Easter without being paid their wages year after year. Luckily this year, fuel was available for moving around during Easter. Otherwise in the past few years the impression was gaining ground that Christian festivals are a special period of woes, when there was no fuel, no salaries and the highest cost of things.
Without any warning whatsoever, both federal and state workers went home on Good Friday for a whole four-day holiday stretch without their March wages. This robbed Nigerian homes the joy of the festivity. We don’t find this funny at all.
The shameful reason officially given for this was that the NNPC did not remit all the money it was expected to pay in for distribution to states and federal agencies. For that reason, the meeting of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee where money is shared out monthly for salaries ended inconclusive. The remittances it needed to do its work were in short supply.
This is a lame excuse on the part of all concerned and the Executive that has the supervisory role of ensuring that salaries are paid in time. The NASS has the oversight function for this as well. The government should have been used to timely payment of salaries by now.
We have this ugly rumor making the rounds that the denial of salaries during Christian festivities which is becoming routine is a conspiracy to impose hardship during Christian festivals. We don’t believe it. It is preposterous. But the authorities should dispel this rumor fast. To do this, the NNPC, the Ministry of Finance and the FAAC must be cautioned not to be reckless or irresponsible about payment of workers salaries, especially during Christian holidays.
A repeat of that occurrence will send the wrong signal to the masses and cement the hard feelings generated by the Easter experience. The March salaries may still have not been paid. This makes matters worse and simply intolerable. It is silly to regard this as a mistake. Whatever it is, we don’t want this again. Christian festivals must remain high key and not be a time of imposed sorrow, be it by the incompetence of officialdom or by any supposed conspiracy. This is totally unacceptable.

About the author

admin