Ahmed pledges assistance to LGs on salaries, pensions

Ahmed pledges assistance to LGs on salaries, pensions

Gov.  Abdulfatah Ahmed  of  Kwara says he is  willing  to assist local government councils in the state to meet their obligations in the payment of salaries and pensions.

A statement issued  on Thursday in Ilorin  by Dr Muideen Akorede, the governor’s   Senior Special Assistant  on Media and Communications,  said  such assistance was, however,  subject to  availability of resources.

The governor was reacting to a statement credited to the state chapter of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP)   blaming his administration for the  inability to receive their  pension arrears.

The Chairman of  NUP in the state,  Alhaji Haliru Mohammed, had  said 6,000 local government  pensioners and retired  teachers in the state were owed N5 billion in  unpaid gratuity.

Mohammed, who was  addressing pensioners in Ilorin on Thursday, said   the last payment of gratuity to retirees from the 16 local government councils  was in 2008.

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He said this was  creating untold hardship for the affected retirees most of whom  he described as the bread winners of their families.

Mohammed  lamented that all efforts  to make the state government and the 16 local councils  provide  assistance had  proved futile.

“The state government deliberately neglected us without any consideration for our plight as a result of  inconsistent policies,” he said.

The chairman  expressed regrets  that  no fewer than   1,720 retirees, who were expecting their gratuity between 2008 and 2017,   had died across the 16 local government areas .

Ahmed , however, said that the delay in the payment of salaries and pension arrears being experienced in  councils  was due to the reduced federal allocation  to all tiers of government.

He said that inspite of  this, the state government had severally supplemented the allocations to the councils in order to enable them pay their monthly salaries and pensions.

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The governor,  who  appealed for patience,  expressed optimism that allocation to the three tiers of government would soon be increased based on the Federal Government’s  efforts to boost the economy.

Ahmed   also gave an  assurance  that his government would continue to  promote dialogue  with stakeholders while maintaining an open door policy.

He called on all aggrieved parties to always utilise these options. (NAN)

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