The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has resolved to temporarily put off its strike to enable the Federal Government commence the payment of promotion arrears owed civil servants.
Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, made this at the end of a conciliatory meeting between the union and the Federal Government.
According to a statement by Mr Samuel Olowokere, Deputy Director, Press, in the ministry, the meeting was held on Wednesday in Abuja.
The association had earlier issued a seven-day ultimatum from Sept. 8 threatening to embark on strike.
The union’s demands included the non-payment of salaries arrears, entitlement of public servants, especially promotion arrears.
The union noted that failure to meet its demand the Association would embark on industrial action effective from Sept. 18th 2017.
Ngige said the Federal Government would do all that was necessary to meet up with the demands of the civil servants and the timeline in the agreement.
He said that government has agreed to pay 30 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) reported that have been cleared, saying their payment bill amounts to N1.165 billion.
“They should start receiving credit of payment to their account by Wednesday, 20th September, 2017.
“The OAGF should also provide the list of the 30 MDAs that have been cleared to the office of the Minister of Labour and Employment by Wednesday, 13th, September 2017, ‘’ he said.
Ngige said the meeting also agreed to set up a seven-man committee to be chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment composed of three members from the association and government’s side.
The Minister while addressing the union restated the unflinching commitment of the Buhari administration to the welfare of workers.
“The arrears in question accumulated for up to a decade but the President is very much concerned about the welfare of the citizens and had resolved to settle the backlog, knowing that government is also continuity.
“This is a government that has the interest of workers at heart, the very reason we stoically refused to retrench any civil servant, despite dwindling resources we met and worsened by the recession, ‘’he said.
He further commended the civil servants for their patience and resilience which in no small measure contributed to the nation’s exit from recession.
In another statement, signed by Mr Bobboi Kaigama, President of the Association, said the meeting agreed that government would do all that was needed to ensure the commencement of payment on or before Sept. 20.