In recent years, Nigerian civil servants have abandoned their duties and travelled abroad in search of greener pasture without closing out with the government. Now, it is pay-back time the government of Bola Tinubu says.

Japa: Civil Servants Must Return Salaries Collected- Tinubu

The era of ‘Japa’ – a Nigerian slang for fleeing the country in search of better opportunities – has been met with a stern response from the authorities.


The sound of accountability is echoing through the halls of power. Indeed, the government is commencing a crackdown on those who left without permission.

President Tinubu Issues Warning

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu says all civil servants who relocated abroad while drawing salaries without formally resigning must refund the wages they received during the period.

Tinubu spoke at the 2024 Civil Service Award and Gala Night, the climax of the week-long 2024 Civil Service Week, held at the Abuja Continental Hotel.

During the media parley to mark the 2024 civil service week, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, shared the revelation regarding employees who had relocated abroad while drawing salaries without formally resigning.

Civil Servants Must Refund Salaries 

She, however, said that measures had been taken to address this issue.

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She insisted that “we must ensure those responsible are held accountable and restitution is made”.


“The culprits must be made to refund the money they have fraudulently collected.

“Their supervisors and department heads must also be punished for aiding and abetting the fraud under their watch,” the President said.

He noted that the Civil Service cannot just be a workplace where ‘anything is possible, ‘where workers violate rules without the fear of punishment or repercussions.

“The civil service of any nation is too important for such misconduct to take root or be tolerated.

“The Civil Service is the bedrock, the engine, the locomotive of government, which is necessary for the government to deliver public goods to citizens.

“As politicians, we are no more than drivers of the locomotives that you provide,” he added.

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