BudgIT Insists On Salary, Pension Survey, Says Wasn’t Done In Bad Faith

Following mixed reactions that greeted the release of the recently concluded salary and pension survey by various state governments, including outright denials and rebuttals that the survey is biased and misleading, the management of BudgIT, on Tuesday affirmed that the survey was conducted in the interest of Nigerians who have faithfully served and are still serving in the public service.

The organization in a statement by Iyanu Fatoba, head, Media, Communications and Creatives, urged state governments to verify its findings further and affirm the authenticity or otherwise to their people, stressing that the survey’s objective remains to nudge states towards their contractual obligations and responsibilities to the civil service and promote the dignity of labour.

This survey, it stressed was not random, as BudgIT adopted a mixed-method of quantitative and qualitative research techniques using the stratified sampling technique.

While state governments are refuting claims that they owe salaries, the statement said “reactions and feedback from the citizens suggest that the months reported as being owed by state governments are grossly understated in our salary and pension survey.

“We surveyed 1,042 respondents across the three senatorial districts of each state, which comprise the following: State MDAs; State Secondary Health Institution; State High Court; State House of Assembly Service Commission; State Secondary School; and State Tertiary Institution; Pensioner paid by State; Local Government Civil Servants; Local Government Secretariat; Primary School; Primary Healthcare Centre and Pensioners paid by Local Government. Likewise, we deployed the Kobo toolbox to ensure an additional layer of scrutiny in collating, interpreting and contextualising the data.

To further reinforce some of the findings from the survey, BudgIT said that in the case of Edo State, it “conducted qualitative interviews with individuals from Etsako Central, Etsako West and Owan East Local Governments. Per our findings, respondents from Etsako Central ascertained that they are being owed eight months and a half’s salary and four years’ leave allowance. Likewise, Etsako West and Owan East respondents affirmed that the government owes them seven months and six and a half months’ salary, respectively.

“We also interviewed individuals from Barkin Ladi, Basa and Jos-North Local Governments in Plateau state, including civil servants, midwives in a state-owned hospital and community health workers. These respondents affirmed that the state government owes them at least three months’ salary as of July 19, 2022, when the research data was collated in Plateau state.

“We have also received correspondence from Cross River State stating that the state government cleared salary backlogs between August 10 and 11, 2022. We posit that we cannot verify this claim as we published our findings based on a survey concluded on July 31, 2022. For state governments that have presented other claims, we are currently reviewing their perspectives and assure the public of a robust response upon extensive inquiry.

BudgIT said it will continue spotlighting issues bordering on state governments’ obligations to their workers. To this end, we would consider another round of surveys in six months to appraise the progress on issues raised.