As the backlog of the local government salaries runs into 10 months in the state, two staff of the local government in Delta state have been reportedly slumped and died at their duty post.
Reports said that in Ukwani Local Government Area of the state where a 52-year-old man came to work last week Thursday but could not go back as he was said to collapse in office at about 12 noon and immediately rushed to a nearby hospital, but gave up after an hour.
While in other local governments, reports said that council staff dies everyday as a result of unpaid salaries, adding that hungers and money for treatment contributed to their death.
As it were, many of the affected workers have absconded from their duty post, complaining that they do not want to collapse in their offices because of hunger.
Chairman of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Delta state chapter, Hon. Malik Ikpokpo said that councils in the state were being owed salaries because of the downturn in the economy.
Ikpokpo, who is the chairman of Isoko South Local Government Area, said “I can confirm to you that in my council, workers have not been paid in the past 10 months and it is very disturbing to me.
“The council is practically getting zero allocation every month after obligatory deduction of N130 million for payment of salaries of primary school teachers, two percent allocation for agriculture, royal father’s stipend and other deductions. You can imagine where there is no money to pay salary of workers, how do we get money to carry out project? I want to improve the primary health care in my area, repair some bad roads and so many things, but where is the money? He asked.
Meanwhile, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa had said that the issue of local government unpaid salaries was beyond his government.
The governor who disclosed this in Asaba at a forum to mark the celebration of his one year in office, said he has no solution to the local government predicament as it related to salary.
“I can’t do anything over the council workers’ salaries. I have no solution, when their allocation comes, firstly, we will deduct the primary school’s teachers, traditional rulers stipend, pensions, so what is left will not be able to pay their salaries nor run the council” the governor explained.