by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
Plateau State government has revealed that it spends about N2.7 billion monthly as total salaries for its 18,000 workforce.
The Plateau State Head of Civil Service, Mr. Izang Atang Azi, disclosed this to Conscience Triumph in his office in Jos, in an interview, when he stated that, the state has 14.500 workforce at the moment, but also have what is called “ad hoc staffs,” which is about 3,000.
Mr. Azi explained that “The ad hoc staffs are from Plateau United, Mighty Jets and Sport Council players, who are not on permanent appointment. That is why our subversion, if it comes, cannot reach anywhere.
“Initially, the state government was to implement the minimum wage, which was supposed to start in March, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, suddenly the revenue dropped; so, that was why government said we should suspend the implementation of the minimum wage and employment.”
Mr. Azi further explained that, about 15.000 civil servants in the state have been promoted, which include the local government staffs and were paid three months’ arrears of their promotion, and assured that the exercise is ongoing.
The Head of Service further disclosed that, the state government was able to enter into agreement with the Federal Mortgage Bank since 2017, in which they signed a memorandum of understanding of one million naira renovation loan to civil servants in the state.
The Head of Service narrated that, “In line with this, for now, loans of about N906 million have been disbursed to 950 civil servants in the state.”
According to him, the exercise is an ongoing process, because the bank have confidence in our civil servants, because their salaries are stable, and we are still expecting them to disburse another N352 million to 390 civil servants.
He reaffirmed that, the present administration inherited 18 months’ pensions which, were not paid, but the government reinstated the payment of the pensions without any problem.
Mr. Azi disclosed that, the payment of pensioners in the state is now automatic, assuring that, as soon as a person retires, he will be immediately placed into pension.
Azi revealed that, a committee was set up, which came up with an established list of “no work no pay,” which the government inherited, but about 99 percent were paid. To this, the sum of N7 billion was spent to settle workers involved.
He also explained that, government was able to sort out some of the outstanding issues of staffs of Tertiary Institutions, of which government has now fully implemented their salaries structure, and the government also approved a retirement age of 65 years.
He said, all the tertiary institutions now are scheduled bodies, which means, their pension is now more stable and they can now move from one place to the other or can be transferred to any ministry or agency of government in the state as far as they have the qualification.
He admonished the workers not to sit back simply because government has eased the lockdown and things have returned to normal, saying, “People should comply and not to relax with government’s guidelines and protocols over the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.”