In the bustling Nigerian capital of Abuja, many workers are currently grappling with a harsh reality a sudden reduction in their October salaries and allowances. This unwelcome development comes at a time when inflation and general economic hardship have become everyday challenges for the country’s citizens.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is responsible for this decision, citing the exhaustion of its budget and personnel cost allocation as the primary reason behind the pay cuts. SaharaReporters received information about this distressing situation, which has left many employees in a state of financial uncertainty.
A letter issued by the Joint Union Actions Committee (JUAC) confirmed the unfortunate action taken by the FCTA. The letter, dated October 27 and signed by JUAC President, Muyideen Oluwakorede, and Secretary, Enojo Sunday, conveyed the news to the affected workforce.
The letter reads, “This is to inform the entire staff of FCTA FCDA that management met with JUAC earlier this week and has informed JUAC to sensitize all staff of its inability to pay the salary of all FCTA staff in the month of October 2023. This is due to the fact that the FCTA budget, personnel cost vote has been exhausted because of the payment of the 40% peculiar allowance to staff of FCTA that started sometime in this year 2023, payment of hazard allowance in some DSAs, and so many other allowances not budgeted for.”
In response to this situation, JUAC insisted on an alternative course of action. Instead of withholding salaries altogether in October, they proposed that the October 2023 salary be paid without the peculiar allowance, which is the maximum amount that the current personnel cost vote can accommodate. Additionally, a plan was outlined to transfer funds from other allocations to bolster the personnel cost vote by November 2023, ensuring that salaries for that month are paid in full.
The workers affected by this pay cut have expressed their dissatisfaction and the toll it has taken on their morale. Many place blame on the Minister of FCT, Nyesom Wike, asserting that the decision to cut salaries has deepened their financial hardships. This is particularly distressing given the rising costs of essential commodities across the nation.
One aggrieved worker lamented, “The Minister, Wike, could not consider the hardship in the country, let alone adhering to the N35,000 minimum wage agreed upon by the president. Instead, he went ahead to reduce workers’ October salaries, claiming there was no money. Most of us are living in perpetual debt, grappling with rising transportation costs, dwindling purchasing power, and biting inflation resulting from the continuous devaluation of the Naira at the exchange market. Now, the meager salaries we receive have been slashed.”
Another worker added, “Our morale is at an all-time low. The Minister’s decision has further exacerbated our suffering, especially considering the surge in prices of nearly all commodities.”
The workers in Abuja are grappling with reduced salaries and allowances during a period of economic uncertainty and inflation. This situation has created significant challenges for these individuals, who are already facing the hardships of rising living costs and financial instability.
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