Staff at the headquarters of the Federal Finance Ministry, for the second day, have continued their protest in Abuja, over unpaid N1.2bn special overtime allowance.
The workers in their hundreds stayed out of their offices from 8am when they resumed work and vowed not to attend to any official assignment until the arrival of the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun.
The protest was jointly staged by some staff of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Budget Office of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
In their hundreds, the workers described the Ministry as being in a state of poor welfare, and expressed disappointment over the non-payment of the entitlements due to them.
They locked all the entrances to the ministry and prevented vehicles and other visitors from gaining access to the premises, grounding all activities and insisting that except their demands were met, they would not stop the protest.
Carrying placards, the protesters demanded the removal of Mrs. Adeosun, whom they accused of bringing negative change to the ministry.
Reacting to the workers protest, management of the Ministry, through it’s Director of Information, Malam Salisu Dambatta, has said in a statement that the protest was unnecessary.
According to him, the special overtime allowance had been stopped since 2014 and therefore, can no longer be a subject of protest.
“The payment of what the protesting staff called a Special Overtime (SOT), was stopped by the last administration in 2014 on the ground that it was not listed in any extant government Circular, Financial Regulations or the Public Service Rules.
The sum of N1.2 billion computed by the staff union for payment could not have been budgeted for in 2016 in the first place, not only because of the paucity of funds, but also the fact that the SOT allowance was not part of the remuneration in the Federal Public Service.
The Federal Ministry of Finance, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Budget Office of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, do not individually or collectively, owe any of their personnel their salaries.
In view of the foregone, the Management of the Federal Ministry of Finance wishes to categorically state that the protests have no justifiable grounds.”