By Hamisu Muhammad
Many workers are said to have resorted to borrowing from relatives to cater for their daily needs due to the delay in salary payments by their employers in many states as a result of the deadlock in sharing of the monthly federation revenue for the month of June.
Daily Trust investigation reveals that the rate at which the workers are borrowing from traders, relatives, friends and family had increased drastically as a result of the salary delay for June.
The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting, a forum where the federation revenue is shared could not hold for the month of June due to the shortfall in revenue declared by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The forum of the state commissioners of finance backed by their governors protested the shortfall and called off the meeting since early July, when the NNPC presented N147 billion as revenue collected for the Federation Account in May. The governors faulted that amount, saying it did not reflect the current economic realities and prices of oil in the international market.
A staff of one of the local governments in Kaduna State, Mohammed Auwal, said he was surviving on loans from good Samaritans and neighbours. He said the situation was beyond imagination and appealed to the authorities concerned to find a way out to pay them their June salary without further delay.
About 10 states could not pay June salaries due to the FAAC meeting deadlock but many states in the northern part of the country have paid salaries as early as 13 June for workers to celebrate Sallah.
A civil servant in Kano, Malam Mohmmed Tahir, said he has been borrowing to feed his family and for transport even before June ended because they received their June salary on the 13th and spent it during Sallah period.
A hospital worker in Kebbi State, Sadisu Kamba, said no civil servant could survive on his salary alone without taking loans before the next payment.
He said for them in Kebbi, it was not because they collected salaries early in June, but that it was a norm to borrow and they will continue with that until their total pay package was improved upon.
“Civil servants are suffering and that is why the society is not prospering; because many traders rely on civil servants to survive too. If we are not earning much, we can’t spend much,” he said.
Yesterday, the National Economic Council (NEC) presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the, State House, Abuja met to sort out the discrepancies of revenue remitted by the NNPC at the June FAAC meeting.
All the actors, such as the states governors, NNPC GMD, CBN governor, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning as well as the Accountant General of the Federation attended the meeting.
A source at the NNPC said the corporation can’t give what it doesn’t have, adding that already, all the parties agreed that the payment for cash calls should be deducted from source after exiting the JV Cash Call with the International Oil Companies, but was surprising that the same governors were now claiming that they were not aware of the deductions.