The Kwara State Government says it is doing everything in its power to rectify the ongoing but regrettable salary crises in the state brought on by the huge drop in federal allocation to all tiers of government across the country.
In a statement issued in response to a press briefing by Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union(IEDPU) on Sunday, the government said while it recognises the union as a stakeholder in the state, the positions canvassed in the statement do not reflect the reality on ground in the state.
The Group had in a news conference in llorin, urged the Kwara state government to stop capital project, prioritise salary payment of teachers, Local Government Workers and others.
The National President of the Union, Alhaji AbdulHameed Adi at the conference also called on the government to rescind its decision asking the state owned tertiary institutions to use their internally generated revenue to fend for themselves.
But the state government said while the unfortunate salary arrears currently being experienced in the tertiary institutions were partly influenced by the drop in federal allocation, the immediate cause was the inability of the institutions to raise their share of the internal revenue to augment subvention as agreed with the government.
The government in a staement said, “Nevertheless, the government has commenced the process of remedying the situation with the payment of 5 months’ arrears at the College of Arabic and Islamic Studies Ilorin while N50m was released to the Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin last week, while the N17m balance will be released this week.
The remaining tertiary institutions in the state, according to the government, will be paid in the coming weeks as funds become available.
The government, therefore, denied stopping subventions to the institutions, insisting instead that it has agreed on reduced allocations based on mutual milestones following due diligence on their finances.
On the Kwara State Water Corporation, the government denied owing any of its verified workers, having recently cleared arrears, stressing that the 40 isolated staff owed salaries was due to irregularities in their authentication.
The state government clarified that the drop in allocation at the local government by more than 50 percent, rather than the operation of the statutory Joint Accounts allocation Committee (JAAC), was responsible for salary arrears at the local government councils.
The government assured the IEDPU that it was already looking at its recommendation for a focus on agriculture and solid mineral development for diversifying the state’s economy, stressing that these measures are long term and cannot be relied on to solve the current problems bedevilling all tiers of government in the country.
Finally, it restated Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed’s strong commitment to ending the salary crises affecting certain categories of workers in the state, including the ongoing verification of staff and the recent prioritisation of basic education teachers’ salaries in the distribution of local government allocation.