Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, on Thursday, assured all local government workers in the state that his government will explore all avenues to ensure regular payment of salaries.
Mimiko stated this at the Special National Delegates Conference of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), held at the International Events Centre, in Akure, the state capital, yesterday.
The governor said his administration, since 2009, has always been prudent with funds accruing to local government in the state.
According to Mimiko, despite the economic recession being witnessed in the country and the lean purse, the state government will continue to grant loans to workers in the local government service at very low interest rates.
Mimiko said: “On the issue of salary arrears to local government workers and other public servants, government has always been prudent with funds accruing to local government in the state.
“In order to create more opportunities for upward mobility of local government workers, government will continue to put in place measures that will ensure the enhancement of local government workers. Government has equally given approval for full implementation of the Local Government Scheme of Service, especially as it affects the position of the Head of Local Government Administration on grade level 17.
“In addition to all these, this administration has consistently ensured timely promotion of workers at due dates. I am aware that the 2016 promotion exercise for all categories of workers has been carried out, while their promotion letters are ready for dispatch.
In his speech, the National Chairman of NULGE, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel, said, “we join our voice today to demand that local government workers salaries be made first line charge as that of primary school teachers. We are owners of the allocation that comes to the local government and should not be made to suffer untold hardship.
“We shall continue to demand for financial autonomy for local governments while also advocating for more powers and democratisation of all local governments in Nigeria.”
Also speaking earlier, the state Chairman of NULGE, Comrade Bunmi Eniayewu, urged the governor to consider the payment of backlog of salary arrears of local government workers, saying the negative effect of non payment is seriously telling on the members.