Awka – The People’s Democratic Party in Anambra State has demanded that the APGA-led State Government with immediate effect, stop the deductions from the salaries of workers across the state, allegedly to fund the recapitalization of a microfinance bank it owns.
The Central Bank of Nigeria it was gathered, had directed all Microfinance banks in the country to raise their capital base before 30th of last month.
TNC correspondent gathered that the State Head of Service had in a memo to the State Accountant General and Secretary, State Joint Account Allocation Committee, (JAAC) on the 8th of March, instructed that certain percentages of the workers’ salaries be deducted as their contributions to stabilize the bank.
Investigation by our correspondent also revealed that the deductions had started at the end of March, 2021.
Civil servants on Grade Level 1 to 3 had N500 deducted from their salaries on a monthly basis for three months, while those on Grade Level 4 to 7, will have N1,200 deducted from their salaries.
Those on Grade Level 8, have deductions of N2,300, those on Grade Level 9 to 10, N2,850, Grade Level 12 to 13, N4,500, Grade Level 14 to 16 will have N5,000 deductions while those on Grade Level 17 have deductions of N5,300.
Speaking with newsmen on Friday in Awka on the development, the State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu, regretted that government at a time of economic hardship when the take home salaries of workers are not enough, would be deducting workers’ salaries.
“States across the country that are not as endowed as Anambra, have since upgraded the salaries and entitlements of their workers in line with the nation’s minimum wage policy.
“But in Anambra, it has come to our notice that deductions are being forcefully made from the workers’ meager salaries for the recapitalization of Ndiolu Microfinance Bank.
“We at the PDP, are genuinely concerned about the welfare of Anambra State Civil servants who are coerced to part with certain percentages of their take home salaries, even when they are one of the least paid workers in the country,” he said.
The Anambra PDP boss also faulted the commencement of the deductions from March, even when the CBN directive was meant to be implemented before the 30th of April, 2021, implying that the civil servants will be exploited for 3 months.
“We are also worried and want to ask if these deductions are in any way going to translate to shareholding percentages for the workers in the bank. If not why would government want to rip off the civil servants to fund a bank they have no stake in without their consent. This is ridiculous and insensitive,” the PDP said.
Nwobu called on the state government to stop the deductions immediately and refund the monies deducted, saying the development points to the insensitivity of the APGA-controlled Anambra government to the plights of Anambra people.
In his view, what any responsible government should be doing now is to think of what to do to alleviate the sufferings of the workers and not making things harder for them through illegal deductions from their salaries.
In his words, “The Anambra PDP shares the pains of the workers and condemn the APGA government’s exploitative tendencies in its entirety. We demand the refund of the deducted monies and assure Anambra people of a better deal under a PDP-controlled administration.”