From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has admonished civil servants to be prepared for the consequences that follows the adjustment of salaries. It also declared that sustained industrial harmony in any sector of a country’s economy, including the public sector, is strategic and cardinal to national development.
This is as it admits that there cannot be meaningful development in any country where the grievance of workers who are the drivers of development is ignored.
Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, said this at the opening of the Separate and Joint Meetings of the National Public Service Negotiating Councils.
The salary adjustment admonition followed demands by Joint Trade Union and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for a consideration of a living wage for workers as N30,000 monthly minimum wage was no longer in tune with current realities.
She explained that in the meeting with Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, last week, he had agreed that salary of civil servant was nothing to write home about.
“However, he, (the vice president) also put a caveat that by the time we raise the salary of civil servants, they must be ready to sit up and do the work that is expected of them. Because there is going to be sanction and consequences, so we need to understand that.
“The union just wants their needs be given but there is attendant responsibility that comes with increase of salary. We must look at it also because we have to balance it out, if government is ready to pay,” Yemi- Esan said.
The Head of Service lamented that the civil service has over the years become a dumping ground, enjoining the union to join efforts to get charlatans out of the system noting that a situation workers loiter about in many of the offices without being productive will no longer be tolerated.
She said: “This government is ready to increase our salary. I hope when we invite the union we must able to come to good. There is no government that can rise above the quality of itself. So, if we have allowed charlatans in, we have to look for a way of getting them out so that we can rescue ourselves. After this meeting I will invite the union to also come and sit down with us and think of a way of rescuing the service back.”