August 19, 2017

Civil servants feel pinch of oil crises

Civil servants feel pinch of oil crises

(Bloomberg) It’s been five months since Johnson Umeadi and his wife, Adaku, received their salaries as civil servants  in southeastern Nigeria.

With Nigeria’s finances shot by last year’s collapse in oil prices, they’re struggling with rent and can’t afford school fees for their three children. Shops and grocers are no longer willing to extend them the credit they need to buy basic items such as food and drinks.

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“It’s like we put all our eggs in one basket and then it went porous,” said Johnson, a 45-year-old employed by a department of Imo state responsible for infrastructure projects, in Owerri. “If one of us was working in a private company, or even engaged in petty trading, we would’ve fared better,” he said, declining to disclose his salary.

The plight of the Umeadis and others who haven’t received wages has hit everything from local shops to the banking industry in Africa’s biggest economy, in which about a third of the formal workforce of 11 million is employed by the state, according to Renaissance Capital. The cash crunch is undermining the prospects for the new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, who described the Treasury last month as “virtually empty.” Read more
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