…deducts personnel salaries
By OKOSUN OKHUELEIGBE
THE sweeping allegations of illegal deduction of salaries and allowances levelled against the immediate past Commandant General (CG) of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Ade Abolurin and the present management under Abdullahi Muhammadu Ganawill split the NSCDC except urgent action is taken to address the abnormally. It might even snowball into industrial catastrophe.
An investigation by the National Daily indicates that personnel of the organisation have been having consistent deductions of their salaries for some months now and when they inquire from the management, no one has given cogent reasons why such deductions are made.
However, a source hinted our reporter that the illegalitywas being perpetrated because of the inherent corrupt practises in the establishment, especially by the top echelon of the service.
Shortly before Abolurin left office in July, personnel of NSCDC were said to be having different amounts of money deducted from their salarieswithout any reason. A source revealed that such deduction cuts across the lower and higher rung of the ranks.
The National Daily check also revealed that grade levels 3 to grade level 15 are affected in the arbitrary deductions. A breakdown of the deductions revealed stunning figures amounting to several millions of naira monthly. AboutN2, 397.50 is deducted from level 3 and N2, 484.50 from level 4 respectively while level 5 had N3, 680.83 deducted. Others are level 6 with N2, 924.83; level 7 N3, 990.42, and level 8 N7, 243.17.
Also affected are levels 9 with deduction of N7, 913.50 monthly, level 10 N8, 434.42 and levels 11 with N9, 979.50. Similarly, level 13 N10, 777.67 while level 15 had N14, 761.75 deducted monthly from their salaries.
It was learnt that before now, they used to receive a “shift allowance”; but suddenly without any explanation, it was yanked off. “What pains me most, one of them explained, was that other organisations like Nigerian Immigration, Prisons and Customs are receiving such allowances. Why must NSCDC personnel be denied? Are we not all under the same Ministry of Interior? An NSCDC staff queried.
Apart from salaries deductions, there are allegations of monstrous irregularities in the organisation as promotion of some staff was not based on merit but “who you know and the office you occupy”.
Recounting his ordeal to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, a senior officer revealed that after passing the mandatory examination required for promotion to the next rank, he was denied promotion while his colleagues, close to the CG, were promoted though they never sat for exams.
It was also learnt that the Personal Assistant to the present Commandant graduated from the University in 2009. At the moment, he is said to be wearing the rank of an Assistant Commandant, a rank that shouldn’t have been worn within 10 years of such person being in service no matter his/her brilliance and degree of commitment to duty.
It was learnt that during the administration of the immediate past CG, a lot of official abnormalities were perpetrated, ranging from corruption, nepotism, favouritism and promotion racketeering which were not based on merit or passing the required examination to wear such ranks.
However, when the National Daily contacted the former Commandant General on the telephone, he denied knowledge of all the allegations made against him during his tenure. On the salary deduction, he said, “Salaries are paid by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directly to individual account. I had no access to CBN. I didn’t deduct anything like that during my tenure. I am not the one paying them. As it is now, I don’t want to join anybody with any issue. I have retired and they should leave me alone to rest and enjoy my retirement.
“There is a new person there; they should ask him about deduction not me. I didn’t deduct anybody’s money. Where will I take the money to? He asked rhetorically.
The rot is said to be wide spread as far as NSCDC is concerned. The choice of who go for courses especially overseas is determined by the “oga at the top” as some are said to be favoured more than others.
It was also uncovered that loyalists from levels 03 to 04 have been going abroad for courses and further studies while more productive officers who should go for such courses are left to rot. This is said to be done with disregards to courses that are offered in Nigerian universities but sent abroad instead with good remuneration for such courses.
From Lagos to Abuja and Nassarawa to Kaduna, it is all stories of complaints by NSCDC personnel of gross cheating and imbecility which is becoming a recurrent negative decimal in the organisation hence some are calling for comprehensive overhaul of NSCDC. They averred that with the appointment of new CG, they didn’t see him making any dramatic change as he is an old wine in a new bottle.
When the National Daily contacted the NSCDCN, its spokesperson, Mr Emmanuel Okeh, brushed every allegation aside with a wave of the hand, describing it as “baseless and uncouth allegation by overzealous staffs that are impatient to key into the wind of change.”
He later detoured, agreeing with the fact that deductions were actually made. Explaining, he said towards the twilight of Abulorin’s tenure as the CG, the Federal Government sent a circular to the corps, removing “Shift Allowance” which it said they were not entitled to.
Okeh added that such deductions were done after Abulorin left office. “July and August were affected. The management is already in discussion with the government with a view to restoring it. At the moment, the new CG has written to the Federal government and all necessary documents have been submitted. We run shift just like any other paramilitary organisations and are entitled to receive such allowance,” Okeh said.
On what is being done to urgently address the concomitant brouhaha, the image maker of the agencies said, “It is a policy matter; we don’t need to comment on it. What I can say is to advise colleagues to be patient as the service is working hard to correct the deduction from the Federal Government. No cause for alarm.”
As it is, the die is cast as personnel are spoiling for war with the management if urgent action is not taken to restore what was taken from then