DEPARTMENT OF ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE OFFICE OF THE HEAD FEDERAL CIVIL SERVICE (FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA) AND NIGERIA CIVIL SERVICE UNION (NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT) H ON. JUSTICE (CHIEF) P.A. ATILADE PRESIDENT DR O.I. ODUMOSU MEMBER S.O. KOKU,ESQ. MEMBER DR. E. C. IWUJI MEMBER ALHAJI Z.M. BELLO MEMBER SUIT NO: NIC/2/81 DATE OF JUDGMENT THURSDAY, 14th MAY, 1981 LABOUR LAW Allowance - Car basic allowance - Transport allowance. Whether civil servants can be paid both - Officer uses his personal car for official duties - Entitlement of be paid mileage allowance. LABOUR LAW Loans - Car loan - Whether government can tie to bank loans. CIVIL SERVICE Civil servant - Whether entitled to receive both car basic allowance and transport allowance - Officer who uses! personal car for official duties - Whether entitled to paid mileage allowance. ISSUES: 1 . Whether the IAP Award of 5% interest on vehicle loan was consistent with the basic issue in disc 2. What should be the appropriate rate of transport allowance in the circumstances of the case? 3. What should be the effective date of the IAP Award? FACTS: There was a trade dispute between the twenty (20) State Governments in the Federal Republic Nigeria and the Nigeria Civil Service Union. The dispute was referred to the Industrial Arbitration Panel, which made its Award. The Appellant objected to some items of the Award on behalf of the twenty State Governments in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on three grounds, namely: the rate of interest of 5 % on vehicle loan; the rates of transport allowance and; the effective date of the being 1st April, 1980. The Appellant while accepting that car loans should be granted to workers directly, it argue that the governments had no funds, and that they would have to borrow from commercial banks at the minimum rate of interest of 8%. It was stated that if governments were to borrow at the interest rate of 8% or more, and after passing the loan to the workers the later paid 5% interest, it would amount to the governments subsidizing the loans to the tune more. On the issue of transport allowance, the Appellant contended that the rates awarded by the IAP would further widen the gap between the lowest and highest categories of public servants, and that the IAP did not take into account the N300.00 per annum added to the mires of the officers eligible on the abolition of car basic allowance in 1979, as well as income tax relief to eligible workers. For the Respondent, it was submitted that the contention of the Appellant that the governments would have to borrow money from commercial banks at 8% interest was untenable. It added that if there were enough funds for providing various facilities and fringe benefits for the executive and legislative arms of the Government without going to the banks, there should be enough fund to pay for car advance and basic allowance, while the car advances would be a sort of revolving loan repayable with interest. On the issue of the rate of interest, it was submitted that the rate of interest on vehicle advance was 3% before April, 1 979, and that the IAP awarded an interest rate of not more than 5%. That Lagos and Imo states had announced the interest rates of 4% and 3% respectively. It urged that 3% be retained, although it did not object to 5% before the IAR. On the effective date of the Award, the Appellant argued that it should take effect from 1st January 1981, while the Respondent argued that it should take effect from 1st January, HELD: (Substantially affirming the IAP award): 1. On Whether civil servants who receive car basic allowance are entitled to be paid transport allowance - officers who receive car basic allowance are not entitled to be paid transport allowance and vice versa. Where an officer however uses his personal car for official duties, he should be entitled to claim mileage allowance. 2. On Whether government can tie to bank loans grant of vehicle loans to workers - The National Industrial Court can take judicial notice of the fact that governments in the country have been paying other services and fringe benefits without reference to bank loans. Therefore, the court will not accept the argument that grant of vehicle must, of necessity, be tied to bank loans.