Kwara releases N1.2bn to pay teachers’ salary

KWARA State government has released a sum of N1.2 billion as part of payment of teacher’s backlog salary.

Speaking while meeting with LG chairmen, labour leaders, their treasurers and top government officials in Ilorin on Tuesday, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, said the released money was higher than N706, 131,293.13 received in month of June.

The governor also said that the state government had released N160 million to augment the salary payment.

“The Kwara State government is to augment the July 2016 federal allocation to local government councils in the state with N160 million to ensure that teachers and all other local government workers are paid their full salaries for the month,” he stated.

He said the intervention became necessary because the July allocation to local government councils was inadequate to pay the full salaries of all local government workers.

He, however, hinged the intervention on the completion of the workers verification exercise, stressing that only workers that have been cleared would be paid.

Ahmed explained further that with the recent increase in allocation to all tiers, growth in internal revenue and the expected savings from the workers verification exercise, all categories of workers in the state would henceforth receive salaries as at when due.

The governor’s pledge followed a plea by the Chairman, Kwara State chapter of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Alhaji Abdullateef Okandeji, for the state government’s intervention on the payment of salaries.

Governor Ahmed, who also gave an assurance that the state government would work with the LG chairmen to clear the backlog of salaries owed their workers, also directed the council chairmen to henceforth hold meetings with stakeholders in their respective local governments to discuss the value and utilisation of monthly allocation.

Earlier, during the monthly Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC), the state Commissioner for Finance who is also Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Demola Nurudeen Banu, said that the July statutory allocation for basic education teachers which stood at N1,150,941,777.92, while 10 per cent of the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the month of June representing N49, 058, 220.08 was also released for the purpose of teachers’ salary, totalling N1.2billion

Banu made this disclosure after the JAAC monthly meeting held on Monday in Ilorin.

He said that the July statutory allocation for the 16 local governments in the State stood at N1, 695, 942, 598.42, saying that Exchange Gain Difference of N312, 517,416.19 and Solid Minerals of N35, 714,775.33 were also shared by the 16 LGs to enable them pay salaries.

He explained that the decision to appropriate a larger portion of the allocation for teachers’ salary was part of the government’s plans to ameliorate condition of primary and junior secondary school teachers in the state.

The Commissioner explained that the fund was appropriated in line with law guiding the local government account which included; LG and LGEA pension N545, 000,818.50 VAT N352, 531,877.20
among others.

The Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Governor, Dr Muyideen Akorede, restated the state government’s commitment to find a lasting solution to the lingering salary crises at the basic education level.

He said that the state government was worried about the plight of primary and junior secondary teachers as well as other workers who were been owed salaries due to huge decline in allocation.

He assured that government would continue to look for solution to the crises, saying that the state government would continue to place high premium on workers’ welfare.

The state President, Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Comrade Salihu Yusuf acknowledged that they had seen the allocation and how it was shared transparently and with all openness.

He explained that government had been transparent in disclosing what comes in monthly, saying that they would appeal to workers to bear with government .

The leadership of labour unions which include NLC, TUC and NULGE were well represented at the meeting.