Uche Usim, Abuja
Aggrieved workers of the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) on Wednesday picketed the Ministry of Finance over outstanding 18 months minimum wage arrears and consequential adjustment totalling N872 million.
The protesters comprised members of the Nigerian Civil Service Union; Senior Staff association of Nigeria and Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) of the Public Complaints Commission (PCC).
Led by Comrade Isa Usman Degri, Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Civil Service Union (NCSU), the angry workers lamented that staff of the Commission were yet to receive the new minimum wage, despite the fact that the new scheme became operational almost two years ago.
According to him, “minimum wage is yet to start at the Public Complaints Commission for the past 18 months. Many people were paid their arrears in December 2019. From 2019 December till now is 9 month, it is yet to start in PCC”.
He lamented that they worked for “this country, we can never be excluded it is unacceptable. We will continue to do this until we are heard. If there are other agencies that have Nigerians as workers that are yet to start implementing, know that we are going to come back for them but today we are here for PCC”.
Usman Degri said they “have started negotiations with representative of Federal Ministry of Finance and the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) together with Labor and Employment we have discussed and signed an agreement”.
Responding, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs Zainab Ahmed assured them of government’s plans to clear the backlog.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance Mr. Aliyu Ahmed, the Minister told the protesters that she has already approved and granted authorization to the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) to release the N872 Million and 18 months arrears.
She said: “We have got the alert for the payment. It is now back to us here in the Ministry so it is now left for us to finalize and make the payments to the PCC. I want to tell you that please give us the next 48 hours”.
The trade unions are demanding that N872m and consequential adjustment of the 18 month should be released with immediate effect to enable activities to resume in the PCC offices nationwide.