Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Kwara state chapter, yesterday, demanded explanation from the Kwara state government on the proposed N4 billion loan which the government plans to secure to offset salaries arrears of workers.
The labour also asked the state government to address the lingering issue of unpaid salaries of local government and State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) workers.
The NLC ’s demand came even as the speaker of the Kwara state House of Assembly, Dr .Ali Ahmad, said state governors were responsible for the delay in the process of actualising autonomy for local government in the country.
The state’s NLC chairman , Comrade Abdulyekeen Agunbiade and the speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, spoke at the flag off of the activities marking the 40th year anniversary of the NLC held at the state banquet hall Ilorin.
The 40th anniversary celebration with the theme ‘‘NLC Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’’ is being celebrated nationwide.
Agunbiade, who expressed concern over the non-payment of local government workers and SUBEB told the state governor to address the ‘‘problem of who is collecting money from local government and SUBEB’’.
‘‘You said you have borrowed N4 billion, we don’t know what this money is meant for, we want you to call us to a round table to discuss it .We know you are a listening governor ‘’, he said
And in a swift reaction, the state’s Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, who was physically present at the forum, said he was ‘‘deeply touched’’ by the plights of local government and SUBEB workers.
He said those at the helms of affairs of government ‘‘cannot morally sustain any claim to economic without solving issue of salary crisis’’.
The governor expressed the hope that the issue of unpaid salaries at the local government and SUBEB levels would soon come to past if the federal government sustained the current improved monthly allocations to states.
Speaking on local government autonomy, the speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad, said though the state House of Assembly was the first to pass the local government autonomy bill and also canceled the Joint account system, ‘‘we are not there yet’’.
He said the country was far from achieving local government autonomy because at least 24 state assemblies must pass the bill too.
The speaker regretted that unlike in kwara state where there was a cordial relationship between the legislature and executives, governors in other states have not allowed the state assemblies to pass the bill .