There is anxiety among federal civil servants as about 5,000 of them may not get November and December salaries.
The National President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Dr Tommy Okon, who disclosed this in Abuja, urged the Federal Government to resolve the issues swiftly.
He explained that out of the 17,000 who were delisted from the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) in October 2023 are on course to receive their salaries, only those who had earlier completed their verification exercise but were mistakenly delisted have had their salaries restored.
According to him, 5,000 civil servants still have discrepancies on their date of first appointment and date of birth. A total of 2,772 have been verified and forwarded to IPPIS for payment because there were no issues.”
While advising affected civil servants to constantly check the Head of Service of the Federation website for regular updates so as not to be caught unawares, he hinted that six teams are working to ensure that the exercise is completed on time.
“It is advisable for a public servant to develop the habit of checking the HOS Website for regular updates. We have confirmed that the salary for November 2023 is concluded. Therefore, those affected will not get their salaries for November,” Okon stated.
However, he assured that some of the affected workers might likely get their salaries for December, including the arrears from September.
Okon appealed to the Federal Government through the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to expedite action to ensure that December salaries are not delayed while urging members of the union to exercise patience as everything is being done within the ambit of the laws to ensure that the issues are resolved expeditiously.
On the recent promotions examination for Directors aspiring to the office of the Permanent Secretaries, Dr Okon said such examinations will increase the efficiency of civil service being the engine room of government policies.
Indeed, the Public Service Rule (PSR) states that the selection shall be through a competitive examination process including but not limited to written examination, test of ICT proficiency and oral interview and Resource persons from the Civil/Public Service and Private institutions may be involved in the selection process.
Okon added: “It is expected that when you rise in your career as a director, you have gotten to the pinnacle of your career. Hence, the position of Permanent Secretary is another kettle of fish, which requires greater responsibility and a broader scope of competence. We are yet to understand how government projects and activities are to be driven effectively without having in place the best hands and brains.”
He lamented that over time, the Civil Service has suffered exponential decadence of its pool of highly skilled and knowledgeable officers, saying, “We cannot continue to pay lip service to the need to scale the quality of the civil servants especially those at the senior level who are expected to demonstrate impeccable character and capability to drive government projects and programmes.
“A situation where only 20 candidates out of 85 demonstrated the requisite knowledge and skill at the written examination and 18 candidates from that number made it to the final stage of the recently concluded selection exercise for the appointment of permanent secretaries leaves little to be imagined about the state of the quality of officers in the Civil Service.”
Order CBN to honour Letters of Credit– SINET to Tinubu, NASS
Amidst several hardships facing the Nigerian populace, the Social Integrity Network, (SINET) has urged President Ahmed Bola Tinubu and the leadership of national assembly to compel the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. Olayemi Cardoso, to order and reconsider honouring the forward contracts that are genuinely backed up with proper compliant documents for utilisation against each Letters of Credit (LCs) opened by the commercial banks using the forwards as a hedge.
The group also urged the Federal Government to make further clarification concerning a statement credited to the CBN Governor on issues regarding the alleged and well-publicized revelations of a $2.4 billion forex trading fraud.
SINET recalled that “On February 5, 2024, the governor of CBN made this declaration in both his interactions with Senate committees and his interview on a national television, following the engagement of Deloitte Management Consultant to conduct a forensic investigation where he claimed that the said amount was uncovered.
A statement issued on Monday by SINET national coordinator, Ibrahim Issah, disclosed that “On the contrary, we wish to unequivocally state that these claims lack merit and do not take into account the consequences they will have on businesses, public perception, or the economy of our cherished nation and its implication on forex both at home and abroad.”
According to him, “Without sentiment, the claim is completely falsehood and unacceptable as he, the CBN governor, failed to consider its economic implications. It is pertinent to state that genuine businessmen and women across the country, borrowed Funds from commercial banks, some with interest rates as high as 30% to secure forex from the CBN through their respective commercial banks since CBN does not sell the dollars to individuals directly.
“The same funds have been deposited with CBN for the past one and half years for forwards allocated for which the Apex Bank is now claiming were fraudulent transactions. May we remind Mr. Governor that while the CBN allocated the forwards after collecting the naira for each forward allocated, the commercial banks used these same forward contracts as a hedge and issued Letters of Credit (LCs) to their various customers against their offshore credit lines and also as a sovereign guarantee to their offshore banks which stand unpaid till today as a result of the failure of CBN to honour the various forward contracts.
“May we also remind our CBN Governor that as a result of their failure to honour these contracts, the outstanding foreign loans continue to accrue interest (post-negotiation charges), which the commercial Banks are passing to their customers: the same customers you say do not have a genuine claim.”
The statement further stressed that, “The public would like to ask Mr. Governor the following questions: What will happen to the foreign bank that is expecting their payment to be paid back? What will happen to the businessmen and women who had borrowed Naira from commercial Banks and paid the same into the CBN account for the purchase of forex for over eighteen months? Who will bear the interest charged on borrowed funds locally? Who will bear the charges running against the offshore lines used in establishing Letters of Credit? What will happen to the businesses? What will happen to the employees that are dependent on the survival of the businesses that CBN is trying to kill?
“We call upon the senate president and, in fact, the president and Commander In-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to call the CBN governor to order and reconsider honouring the forward contracts that are genuinely backed up with proper compliant documents for utilisation against each Letters of Credit (LCs) opened by the commercial banks using the forwards as a hedge.
“Let us state categorically that the CBN is killing businesses by cancelling the forward contracts that were sold to them about 18 months ago at the rate of N450/dollar and now selling the same funds to the commercial banks and directing the bank to sell the money at the rate of 1,500/dollar to the same businesses who initially had a forward contract at the rate of N450/dollar.
“May we also remind Mr. Governor, that failure to honour these forward contracts is taking commercial banks longer time to clean the offshore lines already used for establishing Letters of Credit against which shipments have been done and payment made to LC beneficiaries by the offshore banks. The delays of the commercial banks to settle their Forex obligations to their offshore banks is making our country risk to be very high.
“Lastly, the public will like to call on the coordinating minister for the economy, Mr. Wale Edun to engage the CBN regarding this issue of undelivered forward contracts because at present in Nigeria, almost 60% of companies in the manufacturing sector have been closed due to the volatility of Forex in Nigeria in order to avoid the other 40% from also closing down.
“This will go a long way to help the few remaining manufacturing companies still in operation in Nigeria and also encourage the new investors that the president and commander in-chief of the federal republic is trying woo to bring their investments to Nigeria.”
APC To Yahaya Bello: Stop Confusing The Party, No Vacancy For National Chairman
The leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has told the immediate-past governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello that there is no vacancy in the office of the national chairman of the party.
The national publicity secretary of the party, Felix Morka warned the former Kogi governor to stop confusing the party, saying the position of the national chairman is currently occupied.
Morka handed down the warning while addressing newsmen at the national secretariat of the party.
The posters of the former governor were seen on major streets in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), especially around the federal secretariat and on walls and fences of structures around the APC national secretariat along Blantyre Street, Wuse 2, Abuja.
The bold picture of the former Kogi state governor is adorned with the inscription, “APC Next Level. Alhaji Yahaya Bello as APC National Chairman. Leading the Change, Building a Stronger APC.”