SURE-P Officers Protest Non-Payment Of Salaries In Lagos | Independent Newspapers Limited
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SURE-P Officers Protest Non-Payment Of Salaries In Lagos

Posted: May 4, 2015 at 9:21 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Akinwunmi King, Lagos

Some officers of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) and Federal Task Force (FERMA) on Monday, took to the streets of Lagos, protesting the non-payment of their salaries.
The protesters also accused the Lagos State Co-ordinator of SURE-P, Abdulrazak Otto, of owing them three years salaries running into millions of Naira.
The protesters, who staged their protest at the office of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Lagos, equally protested against the alleged fraudulent extortion of money from them by some executives in charge of the SURE-P.
They alleged that their national officers and chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos were responsible for subjecting them to such dehumanising conditions and extortion of money from them.
According to them, the management used the SURE-P/FERMA job to exploit desperate job seekers for their selfish political gains.
Displaying placards with different inscriptions on it, they chanted solidarity songs also alleging that they were mandated to pay outrageous sums before they were employed for the job, adding that three years after employment and resumption of duties they are yet to be paid a dime.
They alleged that at the commencement of the programme in 2013, applicants were made to pay N32,500 each for uniform, while additional N5,000 was paid for the procurement of the SURE-P forms.
They alleged further that the forms were picked at the residence of PDP Chieftain, Chief Bode George, with a promise that they would be trained in recognised institutions in the country.
They also lamented that till date, no form of training had been organised for them but instead, were used for political rallies whenever any prominent government official was in the state in the build up to the last general elections.
The protesters said the whole recruitment exercise was a fraud, adding that they were just exploited by some people in the name of Federal Government project.
They, however, vowed to continue their protest till the Presidency pays them the arrears of their salaries for three years.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Kayode Aderibigbe said they heard from a source within the Presidency that a PDP chieftain in Lagos told  President Goodluck Jonathan that he paid the recruited officers N350,000 each.
“This is a big lie. We have not been paid a dime for the three years that we have worked.
“We have over 70,000 staff and they are owing all of us. So, I don’t know where he got that figure from.
“We ought to have had this protest on the eve of the governorship election but because they knew it would negatively affect the chances of the PDP at the polls, they called us and begged that we should shelve it.
“We went to their office on the Friday before the election as earlier scheduled and we waited till 7 p.m. and they refused to show up and address us.
“We already wrote all the appropriate authorities on this ugly development including the police, ICPC, EFCC, our lawyer and others and they advised that we embark on the protest if not, our money will not be paid,” Aderibigbe added.