The Federal Government yesterday said it was ready to pay death benefits, promotion arrears and other outstanding debts running close to N300 billion to civil servants. Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja.
She said government would pay the outstanding arrears to federal civil servants in phases, particularly those on promotion arrears, repatriation allowance and death benefits, among others, amounting to about N293 billion.
Oyo-Ita, who addressed the press during the 2016 Civil Service Week celebration, said President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to explore ways to make the payments. She said government had delayed payment due to financial challenges currently facing the country. Oyo-Ita stated that the affected workers would be paid their benefit claims after the conclusion of the phased payment formula, which the Service was reconciling in collaboration with the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
She assured that staff welfare would be addressed from many fronts, noting that the service was exploring the possibility of providing bulk payments of rent allowances for workers within this financial year. Mrs. Oyo-Ita stated further that a committee had since been set up on national salary review and would sit with the relevant stakeholders to take a decision on pay rise. She added that there was no plan to retrench workers, saying “it is cruel to throw people into the labour market.”