By Mumini AbdulKareem
Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has written to the Kwara State House of Assembly seeking for the legislature’s approval to secure a N4 billion loan to offset part of the backlog of salaries for workers in the state, National Pilot, has learnt.
To this end, the lawmakers who would have resumed plenary on April 23, 2018 has suspended their recess for an emergency session on Tuesday (tomorrow) to consider the request, it was further gathered.
A top source in the House who confided in this medium over the matter said the letter of the Governor was sent to the House Wednesday last week, a development that prompted the emergency session.
Checks last night by this medium revealed that the Speaker, Dr Ali Ahmad who had earlier travelled out of the state has returned and is expected to preside over Tuesday’s plenary, “all things being equal”.
The development will be seen as a further demonstration of the resolve of the present administration to improve the welfare of workers and resolve the protracted salary crisis in the state.
“We have been directed to cut short our Easter recess to attend to “urgent state matters”. But part of the agenda is the consideration of approval for the N4billon loan request which the Governor is working in conjunction with the local government councils to clear the backlog.
“Some of us had earlier travelled even out of the country before we were communicated and might need to cut short our trips to consider the request.
“You know issue of loan has to be handled carefully and if there is no green light from the guarantors, it will not be in order to seek the House’s permission”, the source added.
The House had earlier informed the lawmakers and the general public in a message on the suspension of the ongoing Easter recess to “attend to some matters that require urgent attention.”
“This is to inform Honourable members of the Kwara State House of Assembly and the general public that the ongoing Easter recess of the House has been suspended.
The suspension is occasioned by the need for the House to attend to some state matters that require urgent attention
All Honourable members are to therefore note that they will resume plenary on Tuesday, 3rd and Wednesday, 4th April, 2018 at 10:am prompt. Members of the general public are to also note”, the statement read.
As part of efforts to clear the salary backlog for the affected workers, the governor in conjunction with the 16 local governments had concluded arrangement to secure the loan facility.
Series of meetings have been held before now with various stakeholders and relevant bodies on modalities for the disbursement of the money.
This medium had reported that “all the paperwork for the loan had almost been concluded which may also include payment of money owed State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) contractors for previous jobs done.
A bank source had also confided in our reporter that N2 billion of the money had been earmarked for SUBEB, the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) is expected to get N1.5b and the past elected council officials are entitled to N500,000.
Speaking on the proposed loan, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Communications, Dr Muideen Akorede in a text message to this medium last night, reiterated the resolve of the present administration to assist the councils on the issue.
“As the Kwara State Government is helping local government councils to secure the loan facility, both parties are complying with all legal and financial conditions precedent to securing the facility in order to help ease the unfortunate LGs salary crisis”, Akorede submitted.
Recall that the Kwara State Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Musa Abubakar said the loan initiative was fallout of the last meeting between the leadership of the teachers and the state government.
He added that this was part of the reason the union shelved its planned strike after the expiration of its 21 days ultimatum recently.