From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has set the end of 2022 timeline to finalize on the harmonisation of salaries of civil servants in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in the country.
The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan made the disclosure on Tuesday at the Head of Service physical engagement/ interview session with the African Initiative for Governance (AIG), on public service leaders’ programme.
According to her, a committee set up President Muhammadu Buhari, which has been meeting for a while now and a subcommittee to which she belongs is already looking into the various salary scales.
While admitting that there was a huge difference between salaries in the public office, she however, advised civil servants not to be discouraged but to work hard to be high flyers that will get them noticed and open to opportunities that will give them extra cash aside from their salaries.
According to Yemi-Esan, who was responding to what was being done to address the issue, said ”a lot of work is being done on salaries, even rights now, I chair, a Presidential committee on harmonization of salaries in the public service. And actually it took a lot of work.
“It’s unfortunate that the differences are quite wide, and that’s the problem that that committee is having right now. It might not be possible to bring those that are high there, down.
“Also it won’t be possible to bring every body to that high salary grade level. So what we’re trying to do is to find a way of bringing most people up and then also find what we can do with those that are already very high.
“But let me assure you that a lot of work is being done. And we’re working with the salaries, income and wages commission. They are also part of this committee, the budget office is the secretariat.
“The ministry of finance, the ministry of Labour, everybody’s on this committee. And the good thing about this is that we all agreed that something must be done about especially those that are core civil servants, that earned the lowest salaries.
I think we all agreed on that. But the issue now is where…we’re working on it. My prayer is really that by the end of the year we would have come to the conclusion.
“But having said that, it’s also important for me to reiterate that we shouldn’t allow the salaries to discourage us. I think it is important and fair that I say that. Yes, the salaries is not good. But there are also 101 other opportunities.
“I grew up in the service and I know that once you have been identified as a high flyer, the opportunities will come your way even without searching for those opportunities to make a few extra naira aside from your salaries. So that’s why I keep saying that it’s important to be hardworking.
“Let me give a practical example, while I was growing up in the service. Any assignment I’m given, it doesn’t take me more than two, three days to write my report and submit it without anybody asking for it. I just took it upon myself that whatever assignment I am given, as soon as I get back, my report is ready to be submitted. And the funny thing is that I was in ministry of health and after sometime, the permanent secretary actually asked that, who is this person. That I’ve seen a lot of your write ups, I’ve seen a lot of your reports and so I want to know who this particular person is. So those are some of the little little things that we can do that can make us stand out out.