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Gov. Sule Tackles Council Chairmen Over Inability To Pay Workers Salary

The governor of Nasarawa State, Engr. Abdullahi Sule has inaugurated a committee to investigate why Local Government Councils in the state are unable to pay the salary of workers despite enjoying financial autonomy. While inaugurating the committee last Friday, the Governor specifically charged them to investigate issues surrounding the inability of local government councils in the state, to effect payment of salary of their workers.

Gov. Sule noted that, the councils, being the third-tier of government, were charged with the responsibility of ensuring development at the grassroots lamented that despite the financial autonomy being enjoyed by the Councils, there was nothing on the ground to justify the huge investment at the tier of government. He cited accumulated pension arrears, percentage payment, and a backlog of gratuity, among others, as evidence of failure on the part of the councils in the discharge of their constitutional responsibility, with the situation causing despair and despondency among LG workers.

Aware of this development, the Governor recalled his commitment while assuming the mantle of leadership in the state, to address the lingering issues of percentage payment of salaries, accumulated pension arrears and over-bloated salary figures. According to Gov. Sule, his administration has mandated the Ministry for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs, Auditor-General for Local Government and Local Government Service Commission, to appraise the situation. He added that preliminary measures put in place during the appraisal led to the suspension of the Directors of Personnel Management (DPMs) and Finance and Supplies (DFS), in the local government councils and development areas.

The governor further explained that setting up the investigative committee became necessary because of observable discrepancies and irreconcilable issues that need to be ascertained, in order to restore sanity and normalcy in the local government system.

However, the committee, which has six terms of reference, will among others, investigate the truth or otherwise of allegations against the DPMs and DFAs of local government councils, as well as development areas, for non-payment of salaries, incitement of staff against the state government and over-bloated salary figures. It would also examine methods and deficiencies in the preparation of salary payment vouchers and printouts from 2012 to date.

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