LAGOS —No fewer than 12 states are still owing their workers a
backlog of salaries and allowances, despite double bailout funds
from the Federal Government, with Kogi State owing as many as
15 months, Vanguard investigations have revealed.
SOME STATE GOVERNORS
Also on the list of heavily indebted states are Osun, 12 months;
Kwara, 11; Bayelsa, 7; Ondo, 7; Ekiti, 6; and Oyo, 6.
Others are Benue State, 4 months; Nasarawa State, 2; Abia, 2;
Imo, 2; as well as several months of unpaid allowances and
Ogun State, which owes over six months of unremitted
deductions from workers’ salaries for cooperatives, union dues,
This revelation came as Organised Labour accused the Federal
Government of owing civil servants a whopping N290 billion
promotion arrears, lamenting that all efforts at making the
government pay had not yielded any positive result.
Giving an overview of the salary situations across the states,
Secretary-General of Association of Senior Civil Servants of
Nigeria, ASCSN, Bashir Alade Lawal, told Vanguard that some
states were still defaulting in payment, in spite of the huge
bailout received from the Federal Government.
He said: “Osun State is owing one year, Ekiti is owing six
months, Oyo is owing six months, Ondo is owing seven months;
Beyelsa is owing seven months; Abia, two months; Benue four
months; Kogi 15 months; Nasarawa three months.
‘’Ogun can claim it is not owing but it is not paying deductions
from workers’ salaries in some cases, six, seven, eight months.
They are only paying net, not gross. So, if you have paid net
and you have not paid all deductions, you have not paid full
‘’As at today, Anambra is not owing, likewise Borno, Delta, Edo,
Ebonyi, Cross River, Rivers, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano,
Katsina, Kebbi, Lagos, Niger, Plateau, Taraba, Zamfara and
“Anywhere in the world, you pay workers’ salaries first before
doing anything else. For example, in Osun State, some senior
staff are being owed over two years allowances. In order words,
you can simply say they are being owed one year salaries. What
are the explanations? ‘’Bailout has been given about three times
and the last one with clear directive from the Federal
Government for the states to focus on salaries and pensions,
but Osun State government claimed that government was not
instructed to use the entire bailout to pay workers’ salaries.”
In Kwara State, Vanguard gathered that the government has not
paid staff in the parastatals in the state up to March, 2017 and
that the last time workers were paid was February 2017.
It was also learned that the local government workers are worse
off as they are being owed as many as 11 months, with the
exemption of Barutin Local Government which had paid up to
date because of its low personnel staff and the remote location.
Reacting to the development, Senior Special Assistant to
Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of kwara State on Media and
Communications, Dr Muideen Akorede, told Vanguard that the
state government had paid workers in state parastatals , their
He said: “We are up to date, so we are not owing any of our
staff. If anyone has not been paid, such staff will be paid before
the close of this week. Though I don’t have all the details, you
may please contact Commissioner for Finance, Demola Banu,
for more information.”
Vanguard checks, however, confirmed that staff of state-owned
Kwara TV; Herald Newspapers, Radio Kwara, were paid their
March salaries last week.
In Ondo State, Vanguard also gathered that the state government
was owing six month salaries- August to December 2016 and
January 2017, though the new governor, Rotimi Akeredolu paid
salaries of August, 2016 as well as February and March 2017.
in is reaction, Chief Press Secretary to the governor , Segun
Ajiboye, said the immediate past government owed workers six
months ( August 2016 to January 2017) salaries but noted that
the present administration under Rotimi Akeredolu, had paid
February and March 2017 to workers on assumption of office.
He added that during the Easter period, Governor Akeredolu also
paid the arrears of August 2016 to workers to celebrate the
In Oyo State, investigations revealed that none of the workers,
both at the core civil service and local government, had been
paid their salaries up to March 2017, while some of the workers
are yet to be paid since December, last year.
Similarly, in Kogi State, workers have not been paid for many
months, as the staff screening embarked upon by the state
government since March, last year, has continued to hinder
many of the workers from receiving their salaries.
It was learned that aside from those who were on the cleared
list from the screening report released in December 2016, and
had received their salary up till February, over 40 per cent of
both local government and state workers have not received their
salaries since September, last year.
Reacting, yesterday, the Chief Press Secretary to the Kogi State
Governor, Petra Anyegbule said the state government does not
owe workers except those whose genuine status as state
workers are still in doubt and under verification as workers by
the screening appeal committee.
She said when their status is verified, all genuine workers will be
paid, urging them to exercise patience till when the screening
appeal committee will have concluded their assignment.
She said the civil service reform embarked on by the governor
must be total, adding that 96 per cent of those who had been
cleared have received their salaries to date.
Imo State workers have for long, been receiving varying
percentages of emoluments, against the approved wages. Civil
servants contacted, confirmed that salaries for the month of
March and April 2017, were outstanding.
They also affirmed that government only paid 80 per cent of
legitimate salary to the senior staff and 100 per cent to the
Benue State government blamed its inability to regularly pay the
wages of workers in the state on the sharp drop in the allocation
from the Federation Account.
Speaking to Vanguard in a telephone interview in Makurdi, the
Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to the Governor, Mr. Terver Akaase,
said despite the decline from the Federation Allocation, the
Samuel Ortom-led administration had been able to reduce the
backlog from about six months which the government inherited
from the last administration to three months.
Akaase said: “The fact of the matter is that before the advent of
the present administration, Benue was getting an average of N6
billion monthly from the Federation Allocation.
“Unfortunately, since the coming to power of the present
administration, the government has been receiving an average
of N2 billion monthly while our monthly wage bill is over N4.1
“What it meant is that what we receive monthly cannot in any
way match our monthly wage bill, let alone having anything to
embark on developmental projects, so we are left with the
option of alternating salary payments by using two or three
allocations to offset a month’s salary.
“The situation today is that we are owing three months unpaid
salaries and we are hoping that the Paris Club debt refund will
help us clear at least two months of the backlog and from there,
we will be making progress.”
Meanwhile, ASCSN has said the Federal Government was owing
civil servants N290 billion promotion arrears, lamenting all
efforts to make government pay have not yielded any positive
According to ASCSN’s scribe, the federal government is busy
bailing out states and local governments without its own
He said: “You promote somebody from grade level 9 to 10, from
10 to 12, 12 to 13 and in some cases, from 13, to 14 and he or
she is still earning the salary of level 9. All these arrears of
promotions have accumulated to almost N290 billion.
‘’We have engaged this government from day one and up till
now, it has not paid. This is very callous and wicked. The sad
thing about it is that some are entitled to N50,000, N500,000
and things like that, depending on the grade level. Some have
“We are not even asking the government to pay everything at
once. You can say, alright, let us start paying N70 billion and
before you know what is happening, you have cleared this bill. It
is like the government is not interested until you take to the
streets. When you go to the streets that is when you now see
the highest office in the land calling the Finance Minister to pay.
‘’You know you are owing and you are bailing out others, bailing
out the state and local governments, you are not bailing out
“We have made noise, but government is not listening. So, we
are preparing and very shortly, we will do something to at least,
compel the government to look at our side. This indebtedness
to workers at the federal level dates back to 2007 and we are
talking about 2017.
‘’That is over 10 years. It is a precarious situation, but we are
hopeful that some of the actions we intend to take will compel
government to address the issue.”
Efforts to reach the Ministry of Finance for comments, last night,
proved abortive as no one was ready to speak for the ministry.