Finance Ministry to protesting workers: ‘Your agitation is unjustifiable’

Civil servants working at the Ministry of Finance, on Monday, embarked on a protest action over the non payment of allowances and entitlements while also calling for the removal of the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun.

The protest which took place at the ministry’s secretariat in Abuja, resulted in the workers shutting down the secretariat.

In a swift reaction, the ministry’s Director of Information, Salisu Na’inna Dambatta, described the protest as unjustifiable.

“A joint protest by some staff of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Budget Office of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, to back a demand for the payment of an unofficial allowance totaling N1.2 billion has been brought to the attention of the Management of the Federal Ministry of Finance.”

“The Management wishes to state as follows:

i. The payment of what the protesting staff called a Special Overtime (SOT), was stopped by the last administration in 2014 on the ground that it was not listed in any extant government Circular, Financial Regulations or the Public Service Rules;

ii. The sum of N1.2 billion computed by the staff union for payment could not have been budgeted for in 2016 in the first place, not only because of the paucity of funds, but also the fact that the SOT allowance was not part of the remuneration in the Federal Public Service; and

iii. The Federal Ministry of Finance, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Budget Office of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, do not individually or collectively, owe any of their personnel their salaries.

“In view of the foregone, the Management of the Federal Ministry of Finance wishes to categorically state that the protests have no justifiable grounds.”

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