Civil servants at the Federal Ministry of Finance on Monday shut down the headquarters of the ministry in Abuja over what they described as poor welfare condition since the assumption of office of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
The workers in their hundreds expressed disappointment over the non-payment of the entitlements due to them, adding that except their demands were met, they would not stop the protest.
They vowed to shut down business activities in the ministry for five days if the minister and the Permanent Secretary did not address their plight.
Shouting slogans such as “Adeosun must go,” “pay us our allowances,” the workers barricaded all the entrances to the ministry and prevented vehicles and other visitors from gaining access to the premises.
They alleged that unlike in the past where they were entitled to overtime allowances, training and other welfare packages, such were no longer forthcoming.
One of the protesting workers who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation said. “Things have not been going on well at the ministry, overtime allowance had not been paid to us as well as other entitlements.”
Another top official in the ministry who was also part of the protesting workers told our correspondent that the labour union in the ministry had written three times to the minister pleading with her to approve their allowances.
The official, who put the amount being owed at about N1.2bn, said that all pleas by the workers to the minister to release the amount were ignored by her.
But reacting to the development, the ministry in a statement issued by the Director, Information, Mr. Salisu Dambatta, said the protests by the workers was not justifiable.
He said in the statement that the Special Overtime allowances being claimed by the workers had been stopped since 2014 as it was not listed in any government circular or financial regulation.