…Collect bribes and be dismissed, FRSC authorities dare threatening workers
In what seems like a desperate approach to get the authorities to listen to their pleas and enjoy the forthcoming yuletide season, some aggrieved officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC have threatened to resort to openly collecting bribes from motorist if their November salaries and bonuses were not paid before Christmas.
In a report by The Punch, the aggrieved officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said the Federal Government had refused to offer any explanation for the non-payment.
An official, who identified himself only as Patrick, said the government had no excuse for refusing to pay them their salaries since the FRSC was a revenue-generating agency.
He said, “The government is being very unfair to us. Christmas is next Sunday and many of us who are male officials have been asked to remain on the roads to ensure that the roads are safe.
“How can the agency ask me to spend Christmas on the road and at the same time deprive me of my salary?
“They should not turn corps officials into policemen because that is what will happen if we are not paid.”
Another female FRSC official, who claimed to be a single mother, said the non-payment of salaries had affected her, as she had not been able to do any shopping for her children ahead of the Christmas and New Year’s celebration.
She said, “Everyone knows that the prices of goods increase during Christmas and that is why most people try to do their shopping early December. It is bad enough that we are witnessing a recession but the government should not worsen our condition by withholding our pay.
“What will I feed my children with this Christmas? Where will I get the money to take them out to have fun? They cannot tell us not to extort money from motorists and at the same time deprive us of our salaries. It is unfair.”
Another official, who gave his name as Abiodun, recalled that in five months, corps officials had been receiving salaries on the seventh day of the following month.
Abiodun said, “There have always been bad eggs in the agency, but the fact that most officials are well paid sort of reduced the number of bad eggs.
“However, now that salaries are not being paid, the government seems to be giving officials the ‘green light’ to indulge in corrupt practices. You cannot flog me and ask me not to cry.”
However, the FRSC’s Head of Media Relations and Strategy, Mr. Bisi Kazeem, while reacting to the threat, said salary issue was not the fault of the agency but the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, the platform through which Federal Government officials were paid.
He said, “The salary issue is from IPPIS and not from us; so, I suggest you get in touch with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
“The salary issue is being sorted out and anyone who takes bribes knows the implications. Anyone who is caught collecting bribes will be dismissed.”