We Are Not Constitutionally Responsible for LG Salaries, Kwara Govt Responds To NULGE Protest
The Kwara State govt has responded to the protest to the State Government House by members of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) demanding for the payment of their salaries.
In a statement posted on its facebook page, the state government noted that it is not constitutionally responsible for payment of local government workers’ salaries, adding that inability of the Local Govt workers to get their salaries owes to the drop in allocation.
The statement reads:
Today, people purporting to be National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) members converged at Government House, Ilorin demanding audience with the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed who was then preparing for his ongoing interaction with state workers which started last Monday.
The workers were offered three options: Select ten officials to meet with the Governor, come into government house as a body to meet with the Governor or wait till after his meeting with state civil servants and come into the Banquet Hall for your dialogue.
The workers refused all three options, insisting that the Governor Ahmed comes out to address them at the gate. However, His Excellency was advised against this option by the Police and other security agencies present in the interest of public order and the fact that the protesting workers had been infiltrated by suspected miscreants.
While the Abdulfatah Ahmed administration sympathises with the workers regarding the unfortunate salary crises at the local government level, the Kwara State Government is not constitutionally responsible for payment of local government workers’ salaries.
As everyone is aware, the local government arrears were caused by the huge drop in their Federal allocation from N2.7b to N1b monthly.
Meanwhile, salaries of basic education teachers alone is N1.2b monthly. As a result, the administration has helped them by augmenting allocation and approving bank loans in the past.
However, the local governments currently lack the capacity to repay bank loans while the state government, which has also suffered a 40% drop in its monthly allocation, cannot afford to augment local government allocation from its meager resources which barely cover state workers and pensioners.
We advise the workers to be patient and make do with their reduced allocation as it is a national problem while government strives to increase Internally Generated Revenue and block leakages through the ongoing workers verification.
Finally, we must emphasize that the recent reprioritization of SUBEB workers’ salaries by JAAC was a unanimous decision of its technical committee which included Local Government chairmen and their treasurers. The decision was announced at a meeting which had NULGE officials in attendance.