Malam Muhammad Musa Bello

… To give area councils bailout for salary arrears

By Jaiyeola Andrews in Abuja

Determined to exterminate rodents and minimise any possibility of Lassa fever in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the FCT Administration (FCTA) has put plans in place to fumigate the entire city.
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, made the disclosure at the weekend through his media team during an interactive session with members of the FCT Press Corps in Abuja.
Bello said the fumigation exercise would go along way in improving the environment and reduce the incidences of avoidable diseases.
He said his administration had recently cleared outstanding debt of over N250 million owed the cleaning and security contractors working in the FCT District and General Hospitals, adding that the debt cleared was for services provided for up to December 2015.

Bello added that his administration had equally extended the services of those contractors to December 2016 to allow for effective room to plan for new engagement as from 2017 fiscal year.
On Avian Influenza, he noted that FCTA had been able to stamp out the bird flu as no new case was  reported since February 9, 2016.
The minister also announced that his administration would give bailout to the troubled FCT area councils to pay for two months salary arrears, while the area councils had been mandated to look inward and immediately clear the remaining one-month for equity.

Bello stressed that the National Assembly would have to approve the virement to accommodate such request first since FCTA had no provision for area councils’ staff salaries.

He said FCTA had structured the repayment plan for the bailout to be from the 10 per cent statutory payment to the area councils from the FCTA’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

To ensure that the funds are judiciously spent, the FCTA said it would constitute a panel to conduct personnel audit of the Local Education Authority (LEA) because about 90 per cent of allocation from the federation account to the FCT area councils goes to primary schools.
The minister further announced that his administration had put machinery in motion to look into the budgetary system of the FCT area councils.
He said the way they are designed was the beginning of the problem at the local level.