30 January 2013

Nigeria: Presidential Committee Wants Uniform Pay for All Public Servants

A Presidential committee on the reform of the public service has recommended that all sections of the public service receive equal treatment with regard to their pay structure, staff retirement age and service welfare.

The Presidential Committee on the Review of the Reform Processes in the Nigerian Public Service, headed by former head of service Adamu Fika, condemned the practice by some government departments and agencies of paying their staff some periodic sums over and above the statutory pay scales.

Presenting the report to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim on Monday, Fika said the practice is reported to be the case with revenue collection departments like the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and other revenue collecting organs, where huge sums of ex-gratia payments are made to all staff from public funds.

Fika said from both the legal and moral standpoints, these payments are made on very tenuous and clearly indefensible grounds, stressing that such payments constitute wilful and premeditated misappropriation of funds, which amount to unauthorised charges on the public purse.

The committee also condemned what it called "differential treatment" where some sectors of the service get preferential treatment to the detriment of others.

"These include the fact of multiple retirement age, the granting of autonomy to certain departments and agencies in the control and management of their staff and in all other personnel matter, including appointment, promotion and discipline, a privilege which has not been extended to others," hesaid.

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