FEDERAL Ministry of Finance was rocked by staff’s protest for a greater part of yesterday, demanding what they called ‘unpaid allowances’ running into billions of Naira. The protest led to work stoppages and prevented the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun from gaining entry into the ministry’s premises. While protesting, the civil servants in their thousands poured into Ahmadu Bello Way, where the ministry is sited with placards, calling for the sack of the minister. Although the protest was peaceful, the action temporarily hindered free flow of traffic on the ever busy Ahmadu Bello Way. Reacting to the protest, an official of the ministry decried the staff’s conducts, describing their action as unjustified.
A statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the Director (Information) of the ministry, Salisu Na’Inna Dambatta tagged: “Staff protest over N1.2 billion special overtime unjustified”, stated that the amount the protesting staff demanded for was not in the budget, aside the economic crunch the country is facing currently. The statement reads: “A joint protest by some staff of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Office of the Accountant- General of the Federation and the Budget Office of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, to back a demand for the payment of an unofficial allowance totaling N1.2 billion has been brought to the attention of the Management of the Federal Ministry of Finance. “The Management wishes to state as follows: The payment of what the protesting staff called a Special Overtime (SOT), was stopped by the last administration in 2014
on the ground that it was not listed in any extant government Circular, Financial Regulations or the Public Service Rules. “The sum of N1.2 billion computed by the staff union for payment could not have been budgeted for in 2016 in the first place, not only because of the paucity of funds, but also the fact that the SOT allowance was not part of the remuneration in the Federal Public Service. “The Federal Ministry of Finance, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Budget Office of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, do not individually or collectively, owe any of their personnel their salaries. “In view of the foregone, the Management of the Federal Ministry of Finance wishes to categorically state that the protests have no justifiable grounds.”


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