By Kabiru Ahmad
Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, Adamawa State
This month of March will not be forgotten easily by some state civil servants (mostly Teachers) who have not received their salaries as I write this piece. This means they probably will spend the Easter holiday season on either loans, credits, or empty! No thanks to the state government who are busy fishing out propaganda after propaganda that they have paid all their civil servants as of 25th of March 2021 and that they are the first to do so in all 36 states. Rubbish!
The issue of none payment is not even the Crux of this discourse but rather the heartless screening or verification exercises they fixed between the 29th March through to 13th April (copy of the circular is attached herewith).
While it is no longer news that the state government cannot afford to pay all civil servants due to either shortfall in revenues and their piling debts profile from monthly overdraft loans, loan repayment deductions, etc.
It is heartless for the state government who is trying to cover their head in shame to resort to subjecting poor and helpless Teachers from all 21 local government areas to converge at the ministry of education just to do an avoidable screening exercise that is unconnected to their inability to get their salaries. It is obvious that the issue of screening was an afterthought to make the none payment look real or intentional.
This is pretty, callous, and evil to make unsuspecting Teachers travel all the way from Ganye or Madagali or Mubi to come to the state capital to carry out an exercise in futility - knowing fully well that such person has not received any salaries - is at best evil and at worst devilish! Imagine someone without salaries paying 3,000 on transport from Ganye to just attend a phantom screening?
For crying out loud, can't the ministry delegate those who will conduct the screening to travel to those zonal offices and conduct the exercises there? Besides, the ministry got cars and zonal offices that can conduct the so called exercises seamlessly.
I remember vividly last year, the state government/ Governor pledged to pay the arrears/backlog of the new minimum wage immediately revenue from FAAC improves. Well, crude oil is now at a high of around 65 US dollars per barrel! When this promise was made, a barrel was as low as 25 US dollars. What else does he want before he redeem his promise? 2023 is fast approaching sha!
Consequently, I call on the state government to use the lenses of compassion and suspend this unwholesome exercise in conpletely. The claim is some quarters that Teachers/ civil servants did not get their pay is either due to some errors they made at the last screening done months ago is false and misleading. There are so many Non Teaching staff who did not partake in the screening exercise, but were also not paid!
Let this be on record as the first GRAVE errors of the Fintiri led administration towards the Teachers on the state payroll. If the needful is not done, I will ensure that I escalate this issue and pitch the state civil servants against the Governor! Adamawa state is bigger than what it used to be. Any Governor who jokes with the civil servants is joking with his re-election. A word is enough for the wise!
Kabiru Ahmad; a school teacher writes from Ganye Local Government Area of Adamawa State.