President Muhammadu Buhari has issued a directive for the payment of federal civil servants by the 25th of every month. This disclosure was made by the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Ahmed Idris, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday, saying that he believes the directive will go on a test trial by this month, being April.
The AGF also made it known that the government was working on a new arrangement, which would ensure payment of salaries before the monthly meeting of the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), if approved. He explained that salaries are normally paid after the FAAC meeting, where revenue accruing to the federation’s account are divided among the federal, state and local governments.
“There is a standing instruction by the president to pay salary on or before 24th or 25th of every month and we will try as much as possible to comply and to abide by that.
“We are taking a step further to make a provision whereby we can accommodate salary payments even before FAAC. This is going to be given a test I believe by this month. We will go to seek for necessary approval of our political masters to make sure that at least salary and other statutory payments are made even before FAAC.
“Because we can project how much they are and therefore we can prepare and hit the ground running to make them realisable and actualised. Even where we delay FAAC, we can still pay salary.”
Mr. Ahmed Idris went further to banish the general belief that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy is the reason for the delay in the payment of salaries and rather regarded the situation as caused by the crash in global oil prices, which has affected the inflow of income to the nation. Hear him:
“Nigeria is practically making about 30 to 40 per cent of what it used to make by way of revenue from oil and that has affected inflow generally. These inflows are what the federal, state and local governments receive to service the economy. It is when we receive these resources and sit at the end of the month for FAAC that the resources are shared among the three tiers of government.”