Abuja – A cross section of civil servants in the FCT, have applauded the Federal Government for early payment of June salary as Muslim faithful prepare for Eid-El-Fitr celebration.
Speaking in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja, they said the salary came as surprise to them and also described it as “big relief.’’
Some of the workers, who are Muslims, contended that the recession in the country, had made the fasting period “more difficult’’ as many of them do not have what to eat in the morning before the commencement of fasting.
Mr Saleh Adamu, a father of three, told NAN that it was not easy for him and his family during the period of fasting.
He said that the early payment of salary was a surprise to him, adding that it would enable him and his family have a good meal during the Sallah celebration.
“Even though I will not be able to travel, we can now cook good food after the long days of fasting with little to eat at the end of each day.
“I thank the Federal Government for paying salary at this period of celebration,” he said.
Another parent, Mrs Joy Godwin, said that though the Sallah festival was for Muslim faithful, the early payment of salary would enable non-Muslims, enjoy the Sallah break.
“Yesterday, I was just thinking about how to cope during the Sallah break because I did not have money on me.
“I was very excited when I switched on my cell phone this morning and saw salary alert.
“We thank the Federal Government for the early payment of the salary and I hope it will continue like this, even when Christians are celebrating.
“However, even with the early payment of salary, the costs of food stuffs in the market have increased compared to what it was the previous month.
“Food sellers have taken advantage of the celebration to increase the prices of foodstuffs and make things difficult for the people,” Godwin said.
A market survey conducted by NAN in some markets in the FCT showed that the prices of food items, vegetables and fruits, had gone up when compared to what they were before the fasting period.
At the popular Friday Gosa Market along Airport Road, the prices of food items ranging from tomatoes, pepper, cabbage, carrot and livestock had sky rocketed.
For instance, the price of a basket of tomatoes which sold for between N1, 800 and N2, 200, had increased to between N2,800 and N3000, while the price of a basket of pepper had increased fromN1,200 to N1,800.
Mr Zakari Yusuf, who sells tomatoes in Gosa Market, attributed the high cost to the Sallah festival and the rainy season.
He said that the prices of some commodities would come down after the celebration as foodstuffs sellers were fond of increasing prices of food items during celebrations.
Malam Isa Yakubu, a livestock dealer, said that the cost of livestock such as chicken and turkey had also increased.
He attributed the high cost to increase in demand. (NAN)