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ASCSN tasks Buhari on restoration of gratuity payment

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The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to direct restoration of gratuity payment to public service employees.
 
The workers lamented that since the Pension Reform Act 2004 was enacted, government had stopped paying gratuity to public service employees. They alleged that private sector employers are still paying gratuity to their workers on leaving service. 
 
National President, ASCSN, Dr. Tommy Okon, at the association’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Lagos, described the stoppage of payment of gratuity to public service employees as unfortunate.
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He said even though the Act was silent on payment of gratuity, it did not expressly abolish it, and as such, gratuity remained an inseparable component of laws of the federation of Nigeria.
   
According to him, gratuity is still on item 44 of the second schedule on the Exclusive Legislative List of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. 
 
The NEC-in-session, which urged Buhari, to without any further delay, direct the restoration of payment of gratuity to public service employees, said it was in the interest of justice, equity and fairness.
 
“This is more important because political office holders, who serve the country for one to eight years are paid humongous sums of money as gratuity or what they styled severance benefits while public service employees, who serve their country meritoriously for 35 or 40 years or attain the retirement age of 60 or 65 years are denied gratuity,” Okon said.
 
Among other issues, the union expressed worry over worsening insecurity in the country, state of the Naira and the need to strengthen the association in pursuit of members’ welfare.
 
The workers urged the Federal Government to rejig the security architecture in the country and reposition it to meet the aspirations of the citizens.
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They suggested that the state Houses of Assembly should adopt a model of state police, where the governor would not have absolute control of the institution

The NEC-in-session urged that all hands must be on deck to reverse the deteriorating security issues in the country so that government can discharge its primary responsibility of safeguarding lives and property of the citizens.

On the free fall of the Naira against the dollar and the consequent rise in the cost of living, which has been a major concern for the citizens, the workers urged government to take necessary measures to improve fiscal policies to shore up the Naira and check the consistent downward slide of the currency. 

They urged that the government must ensure that forex is made available to genuine manufacturers only to enable them increase local production of goods to stimulate businesses.

“The current exchange rate is certainly having adverse effects on the economy because the cost of essential items such as drugs, raw materials for industries, food items, spare parts and automobiles, among others, have continued to trigger inflation leading to the lowering of purchasing powers of million of Nigerians. The government needs to act fast to revamp the economy,” the workers said.

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