Salary Cuts, Ethnic Cleansing Stifle NSCDC
All may not be well in the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC) as questionable deduction of salaries, arbitrary stoppage of salaries, punitive transfers without allowances, stagnation of yearly salary step increases, victimisation along ethnic and religious lines, among others, are allegedly causing disquiet, as succession battle rages on at the para-military outfit.
The Ministry of Interior, Comrade Patrick Abba Morro, had appointed the Deputy Commandant- General in charge of Administration, Engineer Suleiman Bello, from Kwara State, as Acting Commandant-General following the prolonged absence of the substantive Commandant General, Dr Ade Abolurin, who fell victim of fatal fire accident, and has since been under intensive medical care.
While anticipating that Abolurin, who has commanded the Corps for 11 years as the founding Commandant- General may not return, the development has pitched the Hawks against the Doves, among senior officers, jostling to be the next Commandant General, National Accord, an online news portal reported.
It has also created disquiet among officers on GL8 and above, whose salaries are allegedly being cut by between N10000 and N6000 every month, and Men of the Corps on GL7 and below whose salaries are also being allegedly cut by N3000 every month from January 2014.
A Civil Defender, who does not want to be mentioned because of fear of victimization, confirmed that the deduction of salaries followed a circular in January 2014, from the Headquarters of the Corps.
Although he could not recall the date of the Circular or who signed it, he recalls that the Circular stated that the deduction would come under Pension sub-head, apart from their normal contributory Pension.
He said the implementation of the circular was with immediate effect but all the monies deducted since January 2014 were never acknowledged by their Pension Managers because the alerts only report the normal Contributory figure and does not reflect the extra deductions.
Another Civil Defender, who also confirmed deductions from his pay but would not want to be mentioned, said that N6000 is being deducted from his Salary every month since January 2014 but does not know what for.
Asked why he did not find out, he said, “I don’t want my Salary to be stopped.”
He explained that “a lot of Officers and Men have been victims of salary stoppage for up to two years without any explanation. People just stop other people’s salaries arbitrarily, here. Many people are just working without being paid because their salaries have been stopped without any query.”
Yet, another Civil Defender, who indicated that the Corps is polarised along ethnic and religious lines said “we have been experiencing all kinds of things, especially, if you are not … “(ethnic group mentioned).
He continued, “they will transfer you punitively through improper procedures without transfer allowance, people have been stagnated, denied their promotions and yearly salary step increases, and some officers have been unjustifiably demoted , pointing out that there are several petitions flying all over the place.” He said these and several other forms of discontentment have demoralised the Officers and Men, except of course, those who are benefitting from it.”
He explained, “That is why there is a lot of anxiety all over the place about the possible new leadership of the Corps, that will end years of impunity, restore the confidence of Officers and Men, treat people fairly regardless of religion or tribe, rebuild their morale, free them from the virus of victimisation and other acts of impunity under which the corps currently operates.”