The Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Productivity, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN has said the last-minute move by the administration of Muhammadu Buhari to introduce a pay rise for the 144,766 federal civil servants under the Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure cannot be described as unreasonable.
Keyamo, who spoke with our correspondent in an exclusive interview in Abuja on Saturday, also said the pay rise is something the government can afford.
There have been criticisms following the announcement of the peculiar allowance for civil servants. Certain finance experts described the introduction of the allowance as a “trap for the incoming administration.”
But Keyamo said, “The new package for workers cannot be unreasonable under our present circumstances. In fact, Nigerian workers deserve more. The issue is the funding. I think when the new government removes subsidy and explores some others means to fund our budgets, the government can afford it.”
Workers under the CONPSS were paid peculiar allowances alongside their salaries for the month of April with arrears of January to March 2023 paid alongside.
Earlier, the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, explained that the government introduced the allowance for civil servants in view of the current economic reality, and it is meant to help government workers to cushion the effects of rising inflation, the rising cost of living, hikes in transportation fare, housing and electricity tariffs.