The Federal Government on Monday said that the three months’ salary arrears of civil servants of some Ministries, Departments and Agencies would be paid before the celebration of Christmas.
The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who gave the assurance in a statement issued by her Special Adviser on Communication, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, said already, the processing of their salaries had begun since last Friday.
There are 14 MDAs whose salaries are currently being delayed owing to what the ministry described as a technical hitch which affected the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System through which payments are made.
The statement alleged that in the 14 MDAs, there had been a misuse of the salary budgets to pay promotion arrears and other allowances.
It read in part, “The processing of the December salaries started on Friday and it continues today. Civil servants should therefore get the salaries in their accounts shortly.
“Also being processed are the salaries of the members of staff of 14 MDAs where there has been a misuse of the salary budgets to pay promotion arrears and other allowances.
“In reaction to the wrong action, the IPPIS system, which is programmed to reject irregular procedures, had locked the MDAs in question out of the system. This led to the unfortunate delays.
“We have taken action to rectify the problem and the salary arrears of the staff of the affected MDAs will be paid along with those of their colleagues in other agencies.”
The statement further said the IPPIS system was set up to ensure the smooth running of payment processes to prevent delays since prompt salary payment is important to the Federal Government.
The minister, in the statement, warned all MDAs to desist from irregular actions which hamper the operation of the IPPIS system, leading to payment delays and suffering for civil servants.
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria had last Thursday threatened to ask its members to embark on a nationwide strike if the Federal Government failed to pay the October and November salary arrears.
While calling on the government to use the N9.2bn earmarked to buy stoves for “rural women” to offset the October and November salaries as well as that of December, the ASCSN urged the government to pay the affected workers before Christmas or “face the wrath of Nigerian workers.”