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FCT Salary Fuss: “We Don’t Have Any Issue Against Wike” – Workers

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Joint Unions Action Committee (JUAC) of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) say workers have nothing against the Minister of FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike, over alleged salary cut.

JUAC President, Mr Matilukuro Oluwakorede stated this in Abuja on Saturday, while reacting to a social media publication alleging that, “workers in Nigeria Capital, Abuja groan as Wike cuts salaries, allowances amid inflation”.

Olyuwakorede said, “The public should disregard the information in circulation. it is not emanating from us. We have an internal issue; we had a meeting and agreed on the best way to manage the issue.

“We have nothing to do with what is trending online currently.

“We love our minister. We don’t have any issue against him as at this moment that I am talking to you, and I wish to be quoted anywhere.”

On the issue of the salary, he explained that JUAC had fought for some allowances, adding however, that the allowances were not budgeted for in the 2023 budget.

He identified the allowances as peculiar allowance, hazard allowance and “one or two other allowances like that.”

He explained that the allowances overshot FCTA and FCDA personnel budget, adding that in view of the development, the FCTA management called the leadership of the committee over the challenge.

He added that they all agreed at the meeting, that the remaining funds in the vault should be used to pay October salary but may affect peculiar allowances.

“We realised that the little fund remaining may affect peculiar allowance, and we say we don’t mind stepping it down by one month, while the FCT Administration does the needful against the remaining months.

“So that by November, we return to normalcy. So, I don’t know why journalists are just cashing out on this.

“But I wish to say unequivocally, that we don’t have any problem with our distinguished honourable minister or the minister of state or even the permanent secretary of FCTA.

“We are in good relationship and this decision that we have taken, is for the best interest of staff generally,” the president said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that JUAC leadership had on Friday issued a circular, signed by its President and General Secretary, Mr Akuh Sunday, intimating their members on salary shortfall for October.

JUAC explained in the circular that FCTA and FCDA that management had asked the committee to sensitise all staff on the inability to pay salary of all staff in the months of October.

The development, it said, was because FCTA personal budget vote has been exhausted following the payment of the 40 per cent peculiar allowance, hazard allowance and other allowances.

The committee, however, noted that the payment of the allowance in some Departments, Secretariat and Agencies were not budgeted for.

“In view of the above, JUAC insisted that instead of not paying salary at all in October, management should handle the matter in this manner.

“First, the October salary be paid without the peculiar allowance which is what the current personnel cost vote can carry.

“Secondly, between now and November, virement will be made to transfer funds from other votes to beef up the personnel cost vote to enable management to pay November Salary in full.

“In addition, the arrears for the peculiar allowance of October will be paid in November alongside the arrears for the N35,000 wage award.

“JUAC agreed to these terms because it believes that this is the best bargain and decision that it could take in the best interest of the entire staff of FCTA and FCDA, given the current situation we have found ourselves,” JUAC had said in the circular. (NAN)

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