What are the odds of broke Nigerian state governments paying 13th-month salary to their workers? The chances are probably quite slim, to be honest.
But, last month, the Oyo state government, one of Nigeria's 36 states based in the southwestern region of the country, increased such odds. The state delivered a promise to give its workers a 13th-month salary.
This news was very rare and quite exciting because many private organisations in Nigeria do not even pay 13th-month salaries, which is a form of compensation in addition to an employee's 12th-month salary.
Private sector aside, getting a normal salary can be hard for public workers, and extra remuneration is just downright unusual. For instance, the head of the civil service of the federation was reported to have advised civil servants to exercise caution in spending their November salary. According to her, there was a possible payment delay in their December remuneration. In Ondo state, workers are being owed as much as six months salary, which they now receive in percentages—sometimes as little as 30% of their monthly salary.
So, it was noteworthy when a public institution and a state government broke away from the norms of perpetual salary delays and non-payment. By the 29th of December, the state had kept its promise and paid the full basic salary (without allowances) of its workers' monthly remuneration. It's a commendable feat, especially when compared to Lagos state, the country's IGR giant, that pays 30% of basic salary to its workers in December.
However, if you have been keeping up with Oyo state, you might not be so surprised at