FRSC Officials Threaten To Take Bribes Over Nonpayment Of Salaries

Some officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps have threatened to
demand bribes from motorists if they are not paid their November
salaries and allowances before Christmas.

The officials, who spoke to a Punch
correspondent on condition of anonymity, said the Federal Government
had refused to offer any explanation for the non-payment of the salaries
and allowances.

The agency has, however, vowed to dismiss any official who takes bribes from members of the public.

They said this was more unfortunate because they had been asked to work
during the holidays as part of the ‘Ember’ months’ campaign.

A female FRSC official, 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.

She stated, “Everyone knows that the prices of goods increase during
Christmas and that is why most people try to do their shopping in early
December. It is bad enough that we are witnessing a recession but the
government should not worsen our condition by withholding our pay.

“How will I feed my children 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 identified himself only as Patrick, said the
government had no excuse for withholding their salaries since the FRSC
was a revenue generating agency.

He said, “The government is being very unfair to us. Christmas is next
week 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 roads 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 official, who identified himself only as Abiodun, told our
correspondent that in the last five months, corps officials had been
receiving salaries on the seventh day of the following month.

He added that the agency and the government had failed to explain to officials why things had gone bad.

“There have always been bad eggs in the agency but the fact that most
officials were 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,” he added.

The Head of Media Relations and Strategy, FRSC, Mr. Bisi Kazeem, in his
reaction, told our correspondent that the salary issue was not the fault
of the agency but that of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel
Information System, the platform through which Federal Government
officials are paid.

Kazeem, however, said officials would not resort to bribes as they were paid separately for patrols.

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.”