of Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) today staged a
protest over non-payment of 13 months salary arrears owed them by the
administration of Senator Bala Mohammed. They also complained about
non-promotion of staff.
Both junior and senior staff of the administration barricaded the
main gate popularly known as (Minister’s Gate) carrying placard and
chanting, “Bala must go”, “Pay us our salaries”. Some of the protesters
who spoke under the condition of anonymity said that they have been
placed under one salary grade for over 10 years without promotion and
that the government still owed them 13 months salaries.
They claimed the FCT minister, Mohammed is the worst FCT Minister
they ever had, they vowed to continue the protest until President
Jonathan removes the minister the office. “
The Permanent Secretary, Engr. John Obinna Chukwu and Chief of Staff
who came out to plead to the protesters got more than what they
bargained for as the protesters took on them and started shouting that
they should leave. It took the intervention of some of their aides to
whisk both men away from the angry mob.
The Minister of FCT was said to be hiding in the office while the
protest was going in order not to be embarrassed by the protesters.
The FCT workers protested unpaid salaries and allowances
Several aggrieved workers of the Federal Capital Development
Authority, FCDA, on Monday, held a protest at their premises, demanding
their unpaid salaries and allowances.
The workers also demanded an increase in their housing allowance –
which was previously slashed by 60 per cent, enough staff buses to
convey workers who live in the Abuja suburbs, among other welfare
They also sought the removal of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed.
One of the protesting workers, Elizabeth Obinna, speaking to PREMIUM
TIMES, said that ever since Mr. Mohammed came into power everything had
changed within the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. She asked that the
Minister be removed and his predecessor, Modibbo Aliyu, be returned.
“We want Bala Mohammed to go because our promotions have been on hold
ever since he started work; none of us have been promoted. We have not
been given our (housing allowance) for the last 13 months now. The
housing quote was even slashed by 60 per cent.
“During Modibbo’s tenure, we were paid the complete 100 per cent
without any delay. We want Jonathan to hear this and hear our cry; not
just hear but come to our rescue,” she said
Another protester, Frank Edward, told PREMIUM TIMES that a lot of
their benefits were stopped and salaries were not paid in the last three
“We are not benefiting from any allowances at all. I mean some people
live in Nyanyan, Maraba, Suleja, Kaduna, Keffi and come to work in FCDA
every day on their own account. We do not have staff bus to convey such
people – rather let me rephrase it, we were not given staff bus at all.
It is so not right,” he said
A third aggrieved staff, Sule Ibrahim, lamented that they were being
treated poorly despite working for the good of everybody in Abuja.
“We have various reasons for coming out today. This is FCT; this is
the heart of the FCT Administration. We, the staff, are working for the
betterment of everybody. It is rather ironic that we are not treated
well. We give houses, lands to people and yet a large percentage of us
do not even have lands of our own to develop; let alone, our own house.
What do you call that?” he said.
He also alleged that despite money being allocated for staff training, none of the staff had ever gone on training.
“All we want is for the management to address these matters and he,
Bala, should come out and speak to us,” Mr. Ibrahim demanded.
After the protest, the chairman for the workers’ union, Abdullahi
Yahaya, addressed the angry protesters, saying that their struggle would
not be in vain. He said that he was informed of the protest by the
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, John Chukwu, and asked the
aggrieved workers to go home while the union deliberated with the
executives in the ministry.
The protesters, however, refused and demanded that the Minister
address them; at which point Mr. Yahaya informed them that Mr. Mohammed
was at a meeting at the Presidency.
“When we got to the minister’s office, we were told that he was not
on seat, that the presidency had summoned him with regards to this
protest,” he said.
He insisted that the protesters go home and return the following day.
The executive members of the ministry claimed that they could not talk to the press as the Minister was unavailable.
However, in a press statement later sent to PREMIUM TIMES, the
Permanent Secretary in the FCT Ministry, John Chukwu, the minister said a
large staff strength and corresponding monthly wage bill had informed
He disclosed that the administration had a staff strength of over
28,000 personnel and paid about N3.6 billion monthly as staff wages and
salaries. This, he said, led to the Ministry adopting a biometric system
of payment to make sure that the monies were not being paid to ghost
workers. He said that the biometric exercise was concluded with 3,000
staff having cases to iron out.
He said, to be sure that injustice was not done to any staff, those
with cases were rescreened and cleared in batches while their salaries
were restored accordingly.
Mr. Mohammed said that following the biometric exercise, the
government would now embark on promotion exercise based on the vacancies
declared and availability of funds.
He explained that there was no way any reasonable administration
would embark on a promotion exercise without first verifying the actual
number of its workforce and ensuring that an adequate budget was
provided to cater for the additional costs envisaged.
“The FCT Administration wants to ensure that every dime spent is well
spent with commensurate value in tune with the Transformation Agenda of
the Federal Government,” the statement said.
The minister insisted that the FCT Administration under his
supervision had never delayed staff salary as wages and salaries were
always paid on or before the 25th of every month. He asked that the
staff commend him for what he deemed a patriotic gesture.
Mr. Mohammed pointed out that in the history of the FCT
Administration, his management was the only one that paid 13th month
salary in 2011. He said the records were there to back up his claim.
On long service award, the Minister revealed that his administration
had already set aside plots of land to be given to some staff with
meritorious long service in the FCT Administration. He, however, noted
that some other staff had already been allocated plots.
The minister disclosed that his administration was making
arrangements with reputable Motor Companies in conjunction with
financial institutions to organise a car loan scheme for befitting
Source: Premium Times