By Mumini Abdulkareem and Matthew Denis
Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has directed the Ministry of Finance to commence the payment of August salary to workers in the state immediately.
To be included in the payment is the civil servants, local government employees, staff of State Universal Education Board (SUBEB), pensioners and teachers among other categories of workers in Kwara.
The payment will start today (Thursday), according to the Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Demola Banu, in a statement signed by him in Ilorin, yesterday.
Reacting to the development, the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and NULGE expressed their satisfaction.
According to Banu, arrangements have been concluded and a facility secured to ensure workers start receiving their salaries with effect from today.
He said Governor Ahmed gave the directive to ensure that the workers enjoy a memorable Sallah celebration.
Alhaji Banu added that the directive is coming at a time the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee is yet to meet for the month, ahead of disbursement of monthly allocation to Federal, State and Local Governments.
He noted that the action testifies to his administration’s commitment to the welfare of the people.
Speaking in a telephone chat with our reporter last night, the General Secretary of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Kwara State, Com. Rafiu Hotonu described the payment as a welcome development, adding that it is coming at a time the state allocation was still being awaited.
“We learnt the government took about N2.3billion overdraft to take care of all the affected workers. We are not against the facility because this is festive period and we also pray that when JAAC meeting is held, it will be able to make up for the facility that was collected. But we are totally at home with the governor.”
Similarly, the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Com. Yekeen Agunbiade said, “For the state government to be able to get a loan for the civil servants, public service and local government, pensioners and SUBEB is a good development and we applaud the government for the gesture.”
He however appealed that the government should do more in offsetting arrears of workers in the state before the forthcoming general elections.