By Bukola Adama
Following disbursement of an initial sum of N1billion to offset part of local government workers’ salary arrears, Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has pledged to make additional funds available to the councils from the Paris Club refunds accrued to the state.
Ahmed stated this, yesterday, while addressing stakeholders at the monthly All Progressives Congress Forum held at the state Banquet Hall, opposite Government House, Ilorin.
The governor noted that additional funds would be released as soon as other outstanding commitments such as pensions and gratuities of retirees are settled as encapsulated in the 2017 budget.
According to him, the state-owned tertiary institutions are also expected to benefit from the refund.
“The economic challenge in the country has taken its toll on every segment of the country, particularly salaries of local government workers in the state,” Ahmed said, while promising that his administration would spare no effort at ending the salary crisis in various councils in the state.
The governor explained that the N5.1billion received by the state government is 12.5 per cent lower than the amount being expected from the federal government.
He however assured Kwarans that another tranche of the refund would be released by the Federal Government in September with a promise to continue to improve on the welfare of the entire citizenry.
Earlier, the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Ishola Balogun-Fulani commended members of the party for mobilising electorate for the Continuous Voters Registration exercise by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Balogun-Fulani also praised the party’s loyalists for the peaceful conduct of wards and local government congresses of the APC. The party chairman however intimated members of the party about the state congress scheduled for this week.
In a related development, commendations have continued to pour in for Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed for approving the release of funds to tertiary institutions in the state to offset outstanding salary arrears of their staff.
The latest acclamation is coming from the Committee of Unions in Tertiary Institutions (CUTI) comprising of COEASU, COLLASU, SSUCOEN and NASU in Colleges of Education, Ilorin, Oro, Lafiagi, College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies (CAILS) and Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin.
In a statement, the state CUTI Chairman, Com. Abdulkareem Amuda-Kannike lauded Ahmed for the release of third quarter fund for the payment of salary arrears of workers of the institutions, including the School of Midwifery and Health Technology, Offa.
The payment according to the Chairman, confirmed the faithfulness and commitment of the governor towards the welfare of workers in the state.
He, however, enjoined the management of the institutions to compliment the effort of the state government by adding their internal revenues to pay all outstanding salaries of their staff.
The Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), College of Education, Oro Chapter equally appreciated the state government for the release of funds to clear the salary arrears of its members.
The Union Secretary, Com. Lawal Tajudeen noted that the payment would alleviate the pains the workers have been passing through.
Also, members of the College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Kwara State College of Education (Technical), Lafiagi chapter expressed their appreciation to Governor Ahmed for the prompt attention given to their letter, which culminated in the release of fund to offset the three-month salary arrears of staff of the College.
The appreciation was contained in a press release signed by the Union’s Chairman, Com. Bamidele Samuel Tunde.
Similarly, the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Kwara State Water Corporation branch, through its Chairman, Comrade Saka Taofik, commended the governor Ahmed for the release of funds for the payment of salary arrears of workers of the Corporation.