Unpaid Salaries: Kwara Govt. Allocates June Subvention To Workers

Kwara Governor, Governor AhmedThe Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed has on Thursday directed that the improved federal allocation for June should be judiciously used for local workers in the state.

This according to the Governor, is in order to bring a lasting solution to the crisis and due to increased federal allocation for the month of July.

Governor Ahmed disclosed this during a meeting comprising of labour leaders and chairmen of the local government on how to effectively and judiciously utilize the current allocation to favour the workers.

He added that he hopes that the worst is over for the country.

The governor, who expressed delight over the peaceful resolution, attributed the increase in last allocation due to pressure by governors on the federal government and relevant agencies on the modalities to share the allocation.

The State Commissioner for Finance, Demola Baanu, at the meeting explained that the joint allocation committee had resolved to pay one-month full salary to the workers, which include the teachers instead of being paid in percentage as was the practice.

Reacting, the State President of the National Union of Local Government Employees, Salihu Yusuf thanked the Governor for wading in to ensure their payment.

He added that they could only call off the two months strike when they receive the one month salary as promised.

The Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, Lateef Okandeji, called on the federal government to ensure the redistribution of the federal allocation to favour the local governments across the country.

Okandeji, who also doubles as the National Financial Secretary, proposed 50 per cent for the local governments, 30 for the federal and 20 percent for the states since they are closer to the grassroots.

As the local government workers continue with the strike, it is expected that the chairmen will do the needful by urgently implementing the agreement of paying the one month full salary as agreed.

Unpaid Salaries: Kwara Workers Agree On Verification Exercise

KwaraThe workers in Kwara State have agreed that the government could embark on verification of staff in order to find a lasting solution to lingering salary arrears.

The agreement on verification of staff is to fish out ghost workers while the government is expected to urgently find means to pay the salary arrears before the commencement of the verification exercise.

The pact was reached on Monday during an interactive session held in Ilorin between Kwara State and the civil servants which include the teachers and local government staff.

The Commissioner for Education, Musa Yeketi, had pleaded with the workers to feel free to air their views and suggestions on how to move the state forward, assuring them that nobody would be punished for airing his mind or agitations.

Some of the teachers and local government staff lamented the hardship they have been going through due to lack of salary arrears.

The Commissioner for Finance, Demola Baanu, then gave a hint of the economic situation of the state which he said was not peculiar to Kwara State alone.

He urged the workers to be patient as the government was making effort to cushion the effect of salary arrears by embarking on headcount, increasing the internally generated revenue and exploring other options to ensure the availability of funds.

One of the teachers, Abdulkareem Babatunde, highlighted other arrears for government to get money to offset their salary arrears. These include slashing the salary, emoluments and financial benefits of political office holders including the security votes of the Governor.

 

Kwara Proposed Bond: Government, Opposition In Disagreement

KwaraThe Kwara State government and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are in disagreement over a plan by the government to approach the capital market to obtain a 20 billion Naira bond. 

The opposition described the plan as an attempt to further impoverish the people of the state.

While the Governor of the State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress, believes the money will be used to further develop the state with various projects, the opposition wonders why the government has not been saving for the rainy day, querying what has been done with the previous bonds obtained.

The State Commissioner for Finance, Demola Baanu, had earlier explained that the government had decided to obtain the 20 billion Naira bond to complete ongoing projects, citing dwindling federal revenue for the decision.

The little above one billion Naira allocation from the federal Government being collected now could barely pay salaries, he said, seeking the understanding of the people.

Not Being Prudent

On behalf of the opposition PDP, the state chairman of the party, Iyiola Oyedepo, wondered how the government could continue borrowing to run the affairs of the state.

He told reporters that nearly 500 billion Naira had been collected from 1999 to date without tangible projects or positive impact on the people.

He accused the government of not being prudent when the economy was booming and wondered why government officials complain now when they were supposed to save for the rainy day.

While swearing in the last batch of the state’s commissioners, the Governor warned politicians against politicising the bond issue, as it would not affect the fortunes of the state.

He explained that the state had the capacity to repay through the Internally Generated Revenue,

Governor Ahmed also reiterated that the bond would enable the government complete the suspended projects and begin new ones that would have impact on the people.

The executive arm of the government is waiting for the decision of the State Assembly on the bond proposal before any further action.

PDP Criticises Kwara Govt. Over Bond Issue

PDP Criticises Kwara Govt Over Bond IssueAs the Kwara State government intensifies efforts to obtain a 20 billion naira bond from the capital market, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state has described the plan as an attempt to further impoverish the people of the state.

The Kwara State Commissioner for Finance, Demola Baanu, said that the government decided to obtain the 20 billion naira bond to complete ongoing projects, citing dwindling federal allocation.

He explained that the little above one billion naira being collected could barely pay salaries and called for understanding.

The opposition disagreed with this and queried what had been done with the previous bonds obtained.

The PDP Chairman in the state, Iyiola Oyedepo, wondered how the government could continue borrowing to run the affairs of the state, alleging that nearly 500 billion naira had been collected from 1999 till date without tangible projects or positive impact on the people.

He accused the government of not being prudent when the economy was booming as they failed to save for rainy days.

Meanwhile, Governor Ahmed, while swearing in the last batch of the commissioners, warned politicians against politicising the bond issue, stating that this will not affect the fortunes of the state.

He stressed that the state has the capacity to repay its loans through its Internally Generated Revenue.

 

 

Kwara Government Earmarks 200 Million Naira For Employment Programmes

kwara_emblemThe Kwara State Government has earmarked the sum of 200 million Naira to carry out policy programmes in the areas of youths’ employment and empowerment, including borehole drilling, classroom renovation, as well as rural electrification on monthly basis.

It also stressed that no fewer than 5,400 youths would be engaged in the first phase of the QuickWin intervention aimed at reducing unemployment, adding value to public service, providing social safety nets for youths and other less privileged, among others.

The Secretary to the State Government, Isiaka Gold, stated this in Ilorin while speaking with journalists. He noted that areas to be covered include entrepreneurial scheme, clean and green, bridge empowerment, environmental corps, traffic management and advertisement agency.

Isiaka Gold further added that, a total of 1,872 youths would be engaged in the first phase of the scheme, which would be further divided into graduates (NCE and above) and non-graduates (SSCE and below) who will be given entrepreneurial training for two weeks at the Kwara State University, KWASU, and Kwara State Polytechnic, followed by another two weeks of internship with renowned entrepreneurs.

Each beneficiary would receive 5,000 Naira monthly for a period not exceeding 12 months, depending on the nature and duration of the trainers. Master trainers would also receive the sum of 5,000 Naira monthly per trainee for the duration of the training.

The State Commissioner for Finance, Demola Baanu, assured interested youths who are not engaged in the first phase of the programme that an additional 200 youths would be engaged monthly until the whole 8,200 are fully absorbed. He emphasized that financial provision had been made for the sustenance of the programmes.

It is hoped that the provision of the employment would drastically reduce the unemployment rate in Kwara State to the barest minimum.