Staff of the Federal Ministry of Finance along with their counterparts in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAFG) and Ministry of Budget and National Planning on Wednesday gave a seven-day ultimatum to finance minister Kemi Adeosun within which to pay their outstanding N1.2 billion piled up allowances.
The workers have been protesting within the Ministry of Finance since Monday but Adeosun eventually appeared in the ministry at about 8am on Wednesday when she was forced to disembark at the gate and marched into the premises amidst boos and jeers.
All entreaties from her to address the staff inside the ministry’s auditorium were rebuffed as the workers insisted that she addressed them in the open.
Addressing them, Adeosun told the angry staff that there was no money to settle the accumulated arrears but staff insisted that the money was in the account of Accountant General of the Federation in the Treasury Single Account (TSA)
The obviously more experienced staff told her to deploy “below the line option” to get the money out within seven days and pay them.
When she told them that the term “below the belt option “was a strange term to her, the civil servants promised to teach her.
Nigerian Tribune however, gathered that “below the line option” is a civil servants’ alternative of doing things.
It will be recalled that the ministry on Monday issued a statement declaring the staff protest as baseless as their demands were not backed up by any circular of government.