Most civil servants in Abuja, the nation’s capital have yet to report back to their offices, after the public holidays declared by the Federal Government for the Christmas, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports.
NAN correspondent who visited offices at the Federal Secretariat, report that only a few workers were in their offices ready for work, as the car parks were also scanty.
Also major roads in Abuja were devoid of heavy traffic as the case was before the Christmas.
Some workers interviewed, attributed the situation to the economy challenges facing the the country, as well as the delay in thevpayment of December salary.
Mrs Chioma Alex, a worker in the Ministry of Women Affairs, said that reporting to work daily had been a challenge since the removal of fuel subsidy, as she had to pay N1, 000 daily for transport from her home in Masaka to the office.
She said that the situation might be worsen if the federal government failed to intervene by increasing workers salaries and paying them the N35,000 montly wage award as promised.
“What I mean here is that, since the removal of fuel subsidy, it has not been easy for us the workers to move out of the house to offices.
“Before the Christmas break last week, I paid N700 as transport fare to office each day I came to work and if not I used to receive help from other colleagues who have cars while going back, I would spend more than that.
“Let’s come to think of it, workers salaries are not increased but they are spending more than the current salaries, is the government fighting poverty or it’s increasing poverty among the citizens? ” she said.
Similarly, Mr Musa Hassan, another civil servant, expressed dissatisfaction with the current situation, saying workers’ morale had been killed by the government insensitivity to their plight.
“You will agree with me that workers are spending much more than their current income, they, therefore, counting days to come to work.
“Some who may have the will to come may be thinking to rest at home for now until things normalize to avoid wasting little money on transport.
Speaking too, Mrs Gloria Anza, said she could resume work because she couldn’t travel out of Abuja on holidays due to lack of money for transportation.
“If had traveled, I don’t think I could be in office by now because there would have been no money to return on time.
“All my hope was in that N35, 000 palliative introduced by the government to augment my expenses but since it has been stopped without giving us any reason, it has become difficult for some of us to move and it’s not an easy thing even to come to work. “
Anza, however, appealed to President Bola Tinubu to consider the plight by the workers, by fulfilling government’s promise to pay the N35, 000 wage award.
He said that the gesture would help to cushion effects of the fuel subsidy removal.