The Federal Government has commenced the payment of about N23bn promotion arrears and salary shortfall to civil servants.
The development was confirmed by the Accountant General of the Federation, Alhaji Idris Ahmed, in Abuja on Wednesday, who said N13.2bn was for salary shortfall and N10bn for promotion arrears.
The issue of promotion arrears has been of concern to many civil servants who have been promoted but were still being paid based on the salary grade before their promotion.
The development had been blamed on inadequate budgetary provision for personnel cost.
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria in May issued a strike notice to the government over the issue.
Ahmed said the government’s decision was anchored on a clear understanding that clearing the arrears formed part of the palliative measures being offered to cushion the effects of the harsh economic realities on civil servants.
He added that the mandate to pay the affected workers was being released in batches, noting that the delay in releasing the funds was largely due to the verification of the claims of those to be paid.
He explained that unlike in the past where funds were released to the various ministries, departments and agencies of government for onward disbursement to beneficiaries, a new approach had been adopted to check the rate of abuse of the process.
He said henceforth, the accounts of those that were promoted and being owed arrears would be credited directly after all the necessary verification.
He said about N13.2bn had been provided for the payments of the promotion arrears to the concerned civil servants.
He said, “We cannot give money in bulk to agencies. We will accept detailed information of all those individual employees of government who are in that category having names, banks and account numbers and the amount that happens to be in arrears as far as their salary payments are concerned.
“After due verification, we will now pay direct to the account of the employee. We have started that already and money has been set aside, N13.2bn for the salary shortfall and then N10bn monthly for promotion arrears.”