The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has urged the federal government to urgently carryout local government reform policy as a major recipe of addressing the lingering financial crises bedeviling the level of government.
Ahmed, who stated this at the weekend during an interactive session with members of correspondent chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Kwara State Council, noted that, “Here in Kwara, we do not owe any workers salaries.”
ROYAL NEWS reports that the governor was reacting to allegations that the state government owed pensioners, local government workers among others various degrees of emoluments.
Governor Ahmed however clarified that the state government doesn’t have any interest in the allocation coming to the councils from the federation account adding that local government are the ‘sole architects’ of how the funds are being appropriated in line with the Joint Account (JACC) policy.
He however dispelled the rumour making round that his administration owes salaries, describing it as an act of mischief even as he urged members of the public to always make proper enquiries about government actions and policies.
According to him, “There is need for local government reforms in order to allow them carryout their statutory functions in line with the dictates of the constitution. As you can see that out of the 774 local government areas in Nigeria, only few are viable while majority depends solely on the federal allocation.
“As you can also see that there is also over reliant on crude oil wherein, the drastic drop in the price of petroleum product in the international market has further worsen our economic fortunes. If it continues like this, that means the financial crises will continue to persist and it will also generate beyond imagination and this will not serve our interests.”
He added that, “Let me categorically state that no state worker is been owed salary. Their entitlements are paid as at when due. It is only local government workers that falls into these categories and state government doesn’t have any blame in that but we are trying our best to assist them resolve the problems.”
On Kwara Hotels matter, the governor assured that the state government is on the process of engaging experts who will assist in repositioning firm and settle all the persisting management/financial saga which had led to the inability to pay backlog workers salaries and arrears among others.
He however assured that the last two years of his administration will witness massive road construction and rehabilitation, improved healthcare services, infrastructural development, electricity supply with more attention on solar power option as well as improve in education sector.
The governor therefore commended Kwarans for supporting his government in the face of numerous challenges as orchestrated by the drop in the federal allocation which is not only peculiar to Kwara State alone.
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