Labour Unions Condemn FG's N100bn Slash in Wage Awards

Labour unions express dissatisfaction as the FG slashes N100 billion from wage awards in the recently approved supplementary budget, sparking tensions and warnings of resistance from organized labour.
The Nigeria Coat of Arms and the NLC logo
The Nigeria Coat of Arms and the NLC logoNews Agency of Nigeria

In a heated confrontation on Wednesday, labour unions criticized the Federal Government for reducing the supplementary budgetary allocation for wage awards to federal civil servants by N100 billion. The unions sternly warned that this action contradicted the previously agreed-upon terms with the government.

According to data obtained from the newly revised 2023 Supplementary Budget, the government made significant changes, including the substitution of the contentious N5 billion presidential yacht votes with Navy barges. The budget for defense also experienced a surge from N476.54 billion to N546.21 billion, with an additional N20 billion earmarked for the National Intelligence Agency's capital supplementation.

The approval of the N2.1 trillion 2023 Supplementary Budget faced controversy due to extravagant items, prompting amendments by the National Assembly. The four-month wage award, initially estimated at N210 billion, was reduced to about N110 billion in the approved and revised document.

Further scrutiny of the revised budget revealed a notable increase in the Ministry of Defence's allocation by N69.67 billion, reaching N546.21 billion. The Nigerian Navy, previously entangled in a N5.095 billion controversy over a presidential yacht, received an additional N25 billion in its total allocation, now standing at N87.8 billion.

Remarkably, the presidential yacht expenditure was replaced by a self-propelled barge of the same value. Self-propelled barges, designed for inland waterway operations, became the focus of this reallocation.

The Defence Intelligence Agency saw an extra N30 billion added to its total allocation, rising from N17.04 billion in the proposed document to N47.04 billion in the approved version.

Allocations to the Office of the National Security Adviser, led by Nuhu Ribadu, soared by N20.3 billion, reaching N50.02 billion. Notably, the budget retained the N1.5 billion allocation for official vehicles for the First Lady's office, and the education loan fund for student loans was increased to N10 billion from the previously allotted N5.5 billion.

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