24th December, 2021
By Okon Okon/Abuja
Civil servants at the Federal Secretariat were on Friday seen in their offices working on the eve of Christmas, but many complained of lack of salaries to celebrate the yuletide.
The Federal Government declared Dec. 27 and Dec. 28 as public holidays as part of the Christmas break.
Many workers reported to their different offices at the secretariat in spite of the Christmas being just hours away.
Some of them however decried lack of money to enable them travel to celebrate the season with their loved ones as they were yet to receive their salaries.
Mrs Mercy Okoro, a civil servant, said it was difficult for her to travel as she could not afford to buy some items to share with her siblings at her home town.
“I actually wanted to travel hoping that the Federal Government will release salaries before now. Looking at the situation, I can not do so since I don’t have enough money on me.
“I believe it is the same challenge for other workers like me.
“If you carefully look at the vicinity, you will see a lot of us are still coming to work.
“It maybe people may still travel when salaries come, I think so, ” she said.
Mrs Binta Aaron, another civil servant also said lack of money was the big issue for her to decide not to travel.
Aaron said she always spent her holidays with her family out of Abuja, especially at Christmas seasons.
“I do spend my holidays with my family in my state since they are not here with me but as you can see now, the condition is not favourable for me this season, so I have to adjust myself. ”
For Mr Victor Louis, another civil servant, he had no intention to travel and did not think he should not be at work because of the season.
“The holidays are Monday and Tuesday next week, I see no reason why I should stop coming to work when I have many files to attend to.
“I am not saying traveling is bad. There is nothing wrong for those who may have taken permission from their places of work to travel inasmuch as the season we are in demands it. It is a season of celebration anyway, ” he noted.
Also, Mr Ekpo Idung, a civil servant, noted that most civil servants would work half day before closing to go home in preparation for the celebration.
He, however, appealed to the Federal Government to look into the plight of the workers for additional welfare package besides salary.
“The present economic situation is not favourable to workers now,” he
The Federal Government had advised civil servants to exercise caution in spending their November salary because of the possible delay in the payment of their remuneration for December.
The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan issued the advisory in a circular.
She said workers should make provisions for Christmas celebration from their November salaries because of recurrent trends of shortfall in budgetary allocation and its attendant effect on payment of salary in recent times across various MDAs.
The circular was dated Nov. 25. 2021 and addressed to all staff, Heads of Departments/units and union leaders.
It was titled:”Envisaged Delay in Payment of December 2021 Salary- a Cautionary Advice”.
The circular was signed by Dr. S.A. Adegoke on behalf of the Head of Service.