We used COVID-I9 funds to pay 13th month salary – NiMET

Beloved JohnJanuary 26, 20242 min

NiMET has told the House Committee on Public Account that the COVID fund it received was used as payment for its staff’s 13th month salary.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has said the COVID-19 intervention fund released to it in 2020 was used for the payments of 13th-month salary to all its staff.

The agency disclosed this during an investigative hearing with the House of Representatives Public Account Committee on Thursday, January 24, 2024. 

According to the NiMET General Manager on Account and Finance, Umar Kanifa, a sum of N103 million was given to the agency as intervention funds to cushion the effect of the pandemic on its staff.

Kanifa who represented the Director General, Finance and Account, said, the pandemic had caused a shortfall in revenue which affected the agency’s ability to pay the 13th month’s Salary due to its Staff and as a result, the fund was used to augment the shortfall.

“Our major source of income is from the aviation sector, and because of the pandemic, airlines weren’t working so we suffered a revenue shortfall which affected the payment of our 13th month salary, as stipulated by the NiMET policy.

“NAMA, FAAN, and the other agencies in the aviation sector could not meet up with monthly salaries. And so the Minister called a meeting and that was what necessitated the need to call for the COVID-19 fund to cushion the effect on the staff. 

The DG noted that the agency specifically received instruction to use the fund for the payment of salaries. 

“The 13th-month salary is part of the agreement we signed with the staff. Therefore whether there is a fund or no fund, we must pay as it is mandatory

“We pay the 13th month annually. It is not a government policy but we as an organisation have that as our responsibility. Our revenue was depleted because there was no operation so when the money came, we utilised this payment as it was the reason we received the payment in the first place,” he added. 

Beloved John

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