By Chris Nomjov
The current economic difficulties facing the country has continued to take its toll on state governments as the Kogi State government has said that only six of its 21 local government councils can pay 50/60 per cent of workers salaries. The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Abubakar Ainoko, said this in Lokoja. He blamed the situation on the shortfall of N416m in the allocation to the councils from the Federation Account for February. Ainoko listed councils involved as Lokoja, Okene, Ofu, Ibaji, Adavi and Okehi.
“The remaining workers in 15 local government councils will receive between 30 per cent and 40 per cent salaries in February. Workers receiving 50/80 per cent since Oct. 2014 when the ministry took over the payment of local government workers’ salaries will have to make do with the situation’’, he added.
He called on the workers’ to be understanding and not to allow the situation to demoralise them. He expressed the hope that the situation would change for better soon. He also appealed to the leadership of the local government councils to pay more attention to internally generated revenue. President of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Mr Tom Abutu, described the development as sad. He contended that the more than 25,000 local government workers in the state would be going into the coming general elections on empty stomachs. He wondered why local government workers in the state were the only ones that had been on percentage salaries for more than two years.