The 16 local government councils in Kwara State are to share the sum of N1.150billion while the State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB) is to get N2.15 billion out of the N4b loan obtained by the councils to offset part of the arrears owed their staff.
Chairman of the State Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Mr. Joshua Omokanye made this known while addressing journalists after an emergency meeting of the State Joint Accounts Allocation Committee (JAAC) held on Monday in Ilorin.
Omokanye who also doubles as the Chairman of Oyun LG, said the 16 local councils agreed to access the loan facility to offset part of the arrears owed their workers, pensioners, and SUBEB staff.
According to him, the sum of N400million was earmarked to pay LG pensioners. He added that JAAC also agreed that the sum of N300million should go towards paying allowances owed former political office holders at the LG level.
The ALGON chairman said that the payment of part of the arrears owed the workers would ameliorate their sufferings.
The meeting was attended by the chairmen of the 16 local government councils and their treasurers, Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Finance and that of Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs as well as the Chairperson of the Local Government Service Commission.
Leaders of labour unions in the State including Nigeria Labour Congress, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees, and Trade Union Congress were also present at the meeting.
Meanwhile, the State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has assured that the State government will continue to find ways of assisting the local councils solve the salary crisis currently facing them.
The governor, who gave the assurance via a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Media and Communications, Dr. Muideen Akorede, said the N4b loan facility facilitated by the State government for the councils was to clear part of the arrears owed their staff.
Alhaji Ahmed explained that the intervention was driven by the need to ease the hardship being experienced by the workers and pensioners as a result of the salary crisis.
He expressed optimism that in the coming months, the government would be able to facilitate other interventions to help the councils clear a larger proportion of the existing arrears and eventually clear all the arrears.
Additionally, Governor Ahmed said with the local governments taking over their revenue collection, the councils would be able to generate the internal revenue needed to gradually offset part of their arrears and more importantly implement low-hanging infrastructure.
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