Wednesday, 27th September 2023

BudgIT insists report alleging 12 states owing workers accurate

By Waliat Musa
17 August 2022   |   2:50 am
A civic-tech organisation, BudgIT, yesterday, insisted that its survey alleging non-payment of workers’ salaries in 12 states was accurate.

[FILES] Edo State Governor, Obaseki. Photo/ facebook/godwinobasekiofficial

A civic-tech organisation, BudgIT, yesterday, insisted that its survey alleging non-payment of workers’ salaries in 12 states was accurate.

The assertion was contained in a statement issued by its Head of Media, Communications and Designs, Iyanu Fatoba.

The organisation had listed Edo, Ebonyi, Imo, Nasarawa and Plateau among the 12 states owing workers at least one month’s salary as of July 28, 2022 – an allegation they have publicly denied.

Fatoba said BudgIT conducted the survey in the interest of Nigerians, who have faithfully served and still serving in the public service.

She explained that the organisation adopted a mixed-method of quantitative and qualitative research techniques to conduct the study.

The statement reads: “Using the stratified sampling technique, we surveyed 1,042 respondents across the three senatorial districts of each state. These comprise the state MDAs; state secondary health institution; state high court; state house of assembly service commission; state secondary school and state tertiary institution; pensioner paid by the state; local government civil servants; local government secretariat; primary school; primary healthcare centre and pensioners paid by local government. Likewise, we deployed the Kobo toolbox to ensure an additional layer of scrutiny in collating, interpreting and contextualising the data.”

Responding to denials from the Edo State government, Fatoba said BudgIT conducted qualitative interviews with individuals from Etsako Central, Etsako West and Owan East Councils.

She continued: “Respondents from Etsako Central ascertained that the state owed eight months and a half salary and four years’ leave allowance. In Etsako West and Owan East, respondents also affirmed that the government owed them seven months and six and a half months’ salary, respectively.”

Speaking about Plateau, Fatoba said BudgIT also interviewed individuals from Barkin Ladi, Basa and Jos-North Councils, including civil servants, midwives in a state-owned hospital and community health workers.

She said the respondents also affirmed that the state government owed them at least three months’ salary as of July 19, 2022, when the research data were collated.

“We have also received correspondence from Cross River State stating that the state government cleared salary backlogs between August 10 and 11, 2022. We posit that we cannot verify this claim as we published our findings based on a survey concluded on July 31, 2022,” the document added.

The body said it is currently reviewing perspectives of state governments that have presented other claims, assuring the public of a robust response upon extensive inquiry.

The statement went on: “While state governments are refuting claims that they owe salaries, reactions and feedback from the citizens suggest that the months reported as being owed by state governments are grossly understated in our salary and pension survey.

“This survey’s objective remains to nudge states towards their contractual obligations and responsibilities to the civil service and promote the dignity of labour. BudgIT will continue spotlighting issues bordering on state governments’ obligations to their workers. To this end, we would consider another round of surveys in six months to appraise the progress on issues raised.”

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