President Muhammadu Buhari
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to effect the harmonisation of the salary structure in the public service.
The President of the association, Dr. Tommy Okon, who stated this when he led President Buhari in Abuja, observed that there are more than 13 different salary structures in the public service, out of which the core civil service, which is the engine room of government, is the least in terms of remuneration.
He added that as a result of the multiple structures, some employees in some segments of the public service receive more than seven times the remunerations of their counterparts in the core civil service.
“We believe that there should be equal pay for jobs of equal value, more so because we are dealing with employees that have the same educational qualifications and cognate experience on the job. I wish to plead, therefore, Your Excellency that you direct relevant government agencies to set necessary machinery in motion to harmonise the remunerations of core civil servants so that the differentials in salary will be in the areas of allowances,” he said.
He further stated that core civil service at the federal level is less than 65,000 and their take-home pay is meagre when compared to what their counterparts in the same segment of the public service take home in remunerations.
However, Okon was quick to commend the president for resisting the temptation of sacking public servants following the economic downturn that was occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also commended Buhari for the extension of retirement age and service year of teachers including education officers in the Federal Ministry of Education and Federal Unity Colleges, Ministry of Defence, approval of a new salary structure for staff of the National Identity Management Commission and the approval of new duty tour allowances for the public service.
The association also asked the Federal Government to restore payment of gratuity, which the private sector has continued to implement even after the passage of the contributory pension law of 2004.
“Gratuity is a lump sum paid to public service employees as a golden handshake for serving their fatherland meritoriously for decades. If gratuity payment is restored, it will enable workers to start a new venture after retirement as used to be the case before the 2004 Pension Reform Act was enacted. For, as we have pointed out in several correspondences to relevant government agencies, the 2004 Pension Reform Act did not in any way abolish the payment of gratuity.
“This is why private sector employers have continued to pay gratuity to retiring staff. The government, for inexplicable reasons, stopped paying gratuity to public service employees since the coming into effect of the Pension Reform Act,” he lamented.
Okon, who lauded the funding of the staff housing loan scheme, called for improvement in the allocation to the board, saying, “Housing is a basic need of man. This is why we implore you to direct the beefing up of allocation being made to the Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board so that the body can also take another look at the quantum of money granted to civil servants to buy or build their own houses.
“The cost of building materials has continued to escalate, while salary has remained static. It is against this background that it has become imperative to plead with you to also make land available, ex-gratia, to civil servants to reduce the difficulty they are experiencing in obtaining land at exorbitant prices they cannot afford. It must be emphasised that when workers are properly housed, it will reduce the strain and stress that confront them daily and through that process increase productivity.”
The ASCSN boss lauded the president for re-introducing the tenure policy in the Federal Civil Service, explaining that this has opened more opportunities for civil servants to advance in their career ladder as vacancies are now created and stagnation reduced.
ASCSN tasks Buhari on harmonisation of public service salary structure – Guardian Nigeria
President Muhammadu Buhari