Some officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ogun State Command, have lamented the failure of the corps to back their promotion with salary increase.
The officials also said discrimination existed between officials with Higher National Diplomas and university graduates in the NSCDC despite a recent intervention of the Federal Government which brought both at par.
It was gathered that workers with HND were still ranked as level 7, as against their university graduate counterparts, who were ranked level 8 at the point of entry.
It was learnt that HND holders employed in 2010, who were due for promotion in 2013, did not sit for promotional examination until in 2015.
After finally getting letters of promotion in May 2015, the promotion was reportedly backdated to 2014.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of losing their jobs, said despite the directive that their salaries be increased to reflect their promotion, nothing had been done.
One of the officials, who showed our correspondent his letter of promotion, said his take home pay did not change.
He said, “I was employed in 2010 as a Level 7 officer. We took our promotional exams in 2015 and I was successful. Like others who passed, I was given a letter of promotion, which was backdated to 2014.
“The letter stated that full financial benefits should take effect from 2015, but nothing has been done. The irony of the situation is that some colleagues have started receiving increased salaries since 2016. But the majority of us have not been paid salaries to reflect our new levels three years after promotion.
“We are one of the agencies under the Ministry of Interior. Other agencies, which include immigration, prisons service and fire service, have received their arrears and have started collecting their new salaries after promotion. There is no communication as to who to hold accountable – the NSCDC, the Accountant General or the Ministry of Finance.”
The official also noted that some of his colleagues had not been promoted since they were employed in 2010.
He said the code of conduct of the service prevented them from protesting against the abnormalities.
Another officer, who also joined the service as an HND holder, said he had neither sat promotional examination nor got promoted since he joined the service in 2010.
“In my own case, I have not sat any promotional examination. Despite the fact that the government tried working out a modality that would put HND and BSc at par, it has not been implemented by the NSCDC. Other agencies under the same ministry have implemented it and they have been paying as well,” he said.
Another worker said the issue did not affect only officials attached to the Ogun State command, adding that their counterparts in other states were also affected.
He said, “It has been 37 months that the promotional difference has not been paid. They started paying some people in January 2017; but many of us have not been paid. And they don’t even want anybody to talk about it. If you talk about it, they can query and summon you to Abuja. So, everybody is keeping quiet because we don’t have anybody to fight for us.”
The state Public Relations Officer of the NSCDC, Dyke Ogbonnaya, admitted that the agency owed some of its officials, adding that he did not have any explanation for the delay.
He said, “Sincerely, we owe some levels of rank, but we have started clearing the arrears. We may not be able to clear everything at a go, but we started paying three months ago. Those of them that we have not paid are still going to be paid.
“I think it is a plus if some have started receiving payments even if there are still backlogs of unpaid arrears. I don’t know the reason for the delay (in payment of arrears). I am not working in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation; I am just a public relations officer of the NSCDC.”