The Kwara State branch of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, has accused the Kwara State Government of illegally deducting N33.6bn from the accounts of the 16 local government councils in the state.
The Secretary, NULGE, Kwara State chapter, Mr. Afolabi Abayomi, in a statement in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital on Sunday urged the state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, to ensure the refund of the alleged deductions.
He urged the government to henceforth stop the payment of 434 JSS teachers’ salaries and allowances from the allocation of 16 LG councils in the state.
Abayomi said, “The state government should refund to the 16 LG councils N33.6bn being the financial implication of the salaries of the Junior Secondary School teachers in the 16 LG councils for 84 months at N400m monthly being total sum paid on behalf of the Kwara State Government illegally deducted from the LGA statutory allocation.”
But the state Commissioner of Information, Mr. Babatunde Ajeigbe, said NULGE’s allegations were incorrect, adding that JAAC still remained the statutory body saddled with the responsibility of appropriating funds to the LGs.
He urged NULGE to approach JAAC for clarification on any contentious issue.
Ajeigbe said, “For months now, they (NULGE) have been members of JAAC. We hope they bring their issue to the table for discussion. Saying things without authentic figures and without substantiated facts do not address issues.
“The state government, and its representatives and council chairmen are all part of JAAC and these issues would be looked upon based on its merit but JAAC remains the statutory body saddled with the responsibility of appropriation of funds.
“Whatever they have as their statement is for us to look at and address whatever the issues are but some people just make statement. The LG executives are there, they have not come up with all these things for years. So, how come suddenly they have become issues?
“The same JAAC and Federal Accounts Allocations Committee have been there. Funds have been appropriated. These are the issues that we will look at based on the merit or whatever is being said.”
Meanwhile, the Convener, Organising for Kwara Political Action Group, Mr. Yinka Ajia, has urged the state government to stop the alleged illegal deductions from the accounts of the LGs.
Ajia, who was represented by the group’s state Director, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, spoke during the group’s open house session in Ilorin.
He stated that it was imperative to create Kwara community where its economic power/disposable income would be used to improve the lives of the residents.