Lalong breaks silence, says he is not owing LG salaries



Lalong

Plateau state Governor Simon Lalong, said his administration is not holding the salaries of employees of the 17 Local Government Councils.

He said no one should call me names, as all local governments enjoy full autonomy.

Employees of the 17 local government councils had embarked on protests and strikes in 2020, alleging that Lalong was responsible for the non-implementation of N30,000 minimum wage at local level.

However, Lalong said at a stakeholders meeting, held at Government House Jos, that there was need to make a few clarifications because of the misinterpretation and misinformation of the issue.

“Let me again put it on record that I am not holding local government salaries and no one should therefore call me names.

“Those who want to be objective and say the truth know that I will be the last person to frustrate the implementation of the new minimum wage to Local Government employees having been one of the first and few Governors to agree on its implementation.

“Besides, I was part of the negotiation at the Federal level after which other tiers of Government were advised to go and negotiate with their employees,” he said.

Lalong further said following the prolonged clamour for financial autonomy of the local government system nationwide, the matter was finally resolved.

“As a result, I approved that Local Government autonomy in Plateau State should be implemented immediately,” he added.

Lalong added that all funds belonging to that tier of government go straight to them.

“It is therefore the duty of the Local Governments to negotiate the new minimum wage with their employees based on their capacity to pay. This is the same thing that happened at the Federal and State levels,” he said.

Lalong expressed shocked that despite his intervention to ensure that the matter was quickly resolved through a Technical Committee, the workers embarked on protests which caused hardship to other citizens.

“They have also called me unprintable names forgetting that I have a soft spot for workers,” he said.

Lalong said it was needless to repeat, that he had inherited their salary arrears for 8 months, unpaid “no-work-no pay”, promotions of over 20 years, among others as at the time he took over the state.

“All these they seem to have forgotten because of politics,” he said.

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