FCT salary fuss: “We don’t have any issue against Wike”—Workers

Workers have nothing against the Minister of FCT, Mr. Nyesom Wike, over an alleged wage cut, according to the Joint Unions Action Committee (JUAC) of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).

On Saturday in Abuja, JUAC President Mr. Matilukuro Oluwakorede made this statement in response to a social media article that said, “Workers in Nigeria Capital, Abuja, groan as Wike lowers salaries and allowances despite inflation.”

Olyuwakorede advised the public to ignore the rumours floating around. It’s not coming from our direction. There is a problem within the company, and after a discussion, we came up with a plan to deal with it.

Nothing that is currently popular on the internet is related to us in any way.

Our pastor is a wonderful man. As I am speaking to you right now, I have no problem with you quoting me anywhere: “We have no problem with him.”

As for the allowances, he said that JUAC had lobbied for them but that they weren’t included in the 2023 wage budget.

The unique allowance, the hazard allowance, and “one or two more allowances like that,” he said, were the ones he was referring to.

He elaborated that the allowances had gone above the personnel budgets for both the FCTA and the FCDA, and that in light of this development, the FCTA administration had contacted the committee’s head to discuss the difficulty.

He continued by saying that everyone at the meeting had decided that whatever money was left in the vault should be utilised to pay the October paycheck, which could have an impact on unusual allowances.

We understand that the small amount of money left may have an impact on the unique allowance, therefore we are saying that we are fine with reducing it by one month while the FCT Administration takes care of business with the remaining months.

That things can get back to normal around here by November. So, it baffles me why some media outlets are exploiting this for financial gain.

But I want to stress clearly that our distinguished honourable minister, the minister of state, or the permanent secretary of FCTA are all fine with us.

We’re on good terms, and the president explains that everyone on staff will benefit from the move.

The President and General Secretary of JUAC, Mr. Akuh Sunday, reportedly wrote a circular on Friday advising members of the wage shortfall for the month of October.

In the circular, JUAC explained that FCTA and FCDA had asked the committee to make all employees aware of the difficulty in paying salaries in the months of October and November.

According to the document, this occurred because all discretionary funds allotted under the FCTA had already been used on the 40% oddball allowance, the hazard allowance, and other allowances.

However, the committee did point out that the allowance payment was not planned for in some bureaus and agencies.

“In light of the foregoing, JUAC insisted that management should address the problem in this fashion as opposed to not paying any compensation at all in October.

Since the current personnel cost vote cannot accommodate the special allowance, the October salary will be paid as usual.

Second, the November salary will be paid in full thanks to plans to transfer monies from other votes into the personnel cost vote between now and November.

“In addition, the N35,000 wage award arrears will be paid in November, together with the October unique allowance arrears.

Given the existing circumstances, JUAC stated that it “agreed to these terms since it feels that this is the greatest bargain and choice that it could take in the best interest of the whole workforce of FCTA and FCDA.”

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