The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has requested President Muhammadu Buhari to proceed with the harmonization of the salary structure in the civil service.
The chairman of the association, Dr. Tommy Okon, who said this when he led President Buhari in Abuja, observed that there are more than 13 different salary structures in the civil service, including the central civil service, which is the engine room. government, is the least in terms of remuneration.
He added that due to the multiple structures, some employees in certain segments of the civil service receive more than seven times the salaries of their counterparts in the central civil service.
“We believe there should be equal pay for jobs of equal value, especially since we are dealing with employees who have the same educational qualifications and work-related experience. I therefore wish to plead, Your Excellency, that you direct the relevant government agencies to set in motion the necessary mechanisms to harmonize the salaries of key civil servants so that the salary discrepancies are within the areas of allowances,” he said. declared.
He further said that the base civil service at the federal level is under 65,000 and their take home pay is meager compared to what their counterparts in the same segment of the civil service receive in compensation.
However, Okon was quick to praise the president for resisting the temptation to fire officials in the wake of the economic downturn occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also commended Buhari for extending the retirement age and year of service for teachers, including education officials from the Federal Ministry of Education and Federal Unity Colleges, of the Ministry of Defence, the approval of a new salary structure for the staff of the National Identity Management Commission and the approval. new tour allowances for the public service.
The association also called on the federal government to reinstate the gratuity payment, which the private sector continued to implement even after the passage of the Contributory Pensions Act of 2004.
“The gratuity is a lump sum paid to public service employees as a golden handshake for serving their country with merit for decades. If gratuity payments are reinstated, it will allow workers to start a new business after retirement, as was the case before the enactment of the 2004 Pension Reform Act. Because, as we have pointed out in several correspondences with the government agencies concerned, the 2004 law on the reform of pensions has in no way abolished the payment of the gratuity.
“That’s why private sector employers have continued to pay bonuses to retiring staff. The government, for inexplicable reasons, has stopped paying gratuities to civil servants since the entry into force of the pension reform law,” he lamented.
Okon, who welcomed the funding for the staff housing loan scheme, called for an improvement in the allocation to the council, saying: “Housing is a basic human need. That is why we implore you to lead the strengthening of the allocation to the Federal Government Staff Housing Loan Board so that the body can also review the amount of money given to staff to buy or build their own homes. .
“The cost of building materials continued to rise, while wages remained static. It is in this context that it has become imperative to implore you to also make land available free of charge to civil servants to reduce the difficulty they experience in obtaining land at exorbitant prices which they cannot afford. It should be emphasized that when workers are properly housed, it will reduce the tension and stress they face on a daily basis and, in the process, increase productivity.
The ASCSN boss praised the president for reintroducing the tenure policy in the federal civil service, explaining that it has opened up more opportunities for civil servants to advance in their careers, as vacancies are now created and stagnation scaled down.