Kwara State has disbursed the sum of N794, 854, 933.26 federal allocation for the month of May, 2016 and N12.5 million each to its 16 local government areas for payment of salaries.
The Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Demola Banu, while speaking with journalists after the State Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) meeting in Ilorin, said the fund was to increase the capacity of the LG councils to pay salary to their workers.
Banu said that the N200 million augmentations came from the savings accrued to the 16 Local Government Councils from the Federal Government’s recent restructuring of loans.
He noted that the 16 LGs still pay N170million monthly to banks for previous salary-related borrowing.
He explained that the statutory allocation to the LGs for the month of May stood at N794, 854, 933.26 as against N856, 869, 905.52 received in April; VAT of N344, 139, 224.32; Exchange Difference of N8, 911, 768.03 and a 10 per cent IGR from state government which stood at N73, 316, 385.65, as against N62, 389, 491.24 they got in April.
The commissioner disclosed that N1.2billion is required monthly for SUBEB staff salary as opposed to N462, 051, 119.75 appropriated for teachers’ salary; He said N397, 188, 394.30 is required for local government pensioners arrears as opposed to N152, 934, 451.95 released for the purpose.
On the issue of LG employees, Banu said N302, 110, 867.16 out of the monthly wage of N784, 616, 734.15 was released due to significant reduction in Federal allocation to local government councils in the state.
The JAAC Chairman, who urged the LG chairmen to ensure that the funds were judiciously used for salary payment, assured that the state government will continue to make efforts to ensure salaries are paid promptly.
Also speaking, the chairman of the Kwara State chapter of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Musa Abubakar, commended the state government for inviting labour unions to witness the JAAC meeting, saying that the process was transparent.
NUT boss, who decried the persistent drop in federal allocation, added that the present situation was precarious and challenging for workers in the state.
He, however, urged the state and local governments to redouble their efforts in ensuring that the lingering salary crisis is resolved on time. Also speaking, the State ALGON chairman, Alhaji Abdul Lateef Okandeji, said that the additional N12.5m given to each of the 16 LGs came as a form of relief to them and assured that the funds would be used for the purpose for which it was given.