From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos
Civil servants in Plateau State have accused the state government of forcing them to observe the 30 days Ramadan fast and the Eid-el-Fitr without any comfort following the inability of the government to pay them their March and April salaries.
Daily Trust reports that the state government has not offset its March salary arrears to its workforce and the hope of the state civil servants celebrating a blissful Sallah was dashed due to the inability of the state government to pay them April salary as expected.
“The last salary I received was that of February. I have not received March salary but I learnt some ministries and agencies may have been paid but our ministry is yet to be paid,” said Alhaji Danjuma Sani.
On her part, Zainab Yahaya said, “I thank Almighty Allah for seeing me through the Ramadan period successfully. But it was difficult without money; for two months, I have not received a salary.”
Musa Bawa told Daily Trust that he had a difficult Ramadan because he could not discharge his financial obligations. “The most painful one was that I could not give zakat to the people I planned to give but God knows my intention that if my salary had been paid, I would have extended that obligatory love to people around me,” he said.
The state government confirmed that it owes its workers two months’ salaries. Head of Civil Service, Engr Sunday Hyat, who represented Governor Simon Lalong on Workers’ Day at the Rwang Pam Stadium had said it was working towards clearing the salary arrears as soon as possible.
“This administration had prioritised staff salary and pension since its inception in 2015. We have consistently paid salaries as a first-line charge every month for the past seven years which is why the state workers called the governor “Mr Alert,” he said.
He, however, said the delay was due to the country’s difficult economic situation but stressed that workers will soon begin to receive alerts as the present government will not handle issues of workers’ salaries with levity.