By Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Leaders of the labour unions in Kwara State have commended the governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed for facilitating a N4 billion loan to settle all outstanding salaries of workers.
These leaders include the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Yekeen Agunbiade, the chairman Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Kola Olomu, the chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Musa Abubakar, and chairman of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Comrade Yusuf Salihu.
The labour union leaders in a joint statement issued in Ilorin yesterday said that the development has doused tension among workers who were being owed salaries.
The labour union leaders said that the facility has showed that Governor Ahmed listens to his people.
They said that the workers would remain grateful to the governor for the kind gesture, urging the government to place high premium on welfare of the workers.
They also appealed to the state government to work harder on the promotion of workers in order to boost the productivity of teeming workers in the state.
The labour leaders, however, charged the council chairmen to improve on their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) so as to assist in the socio economic development of the grassroots.
Meanwhile, the governor has assured that the government would continue to find ways of helping the 16 local government councils to solve the salary and pension crisis currently facing them.
Ahmed said that the recent intervention with the N4 billion loan to offsets salaries of workers in the state was to assuage the pain being experienced by the workers and pensioners, due to the unfortunate crisis and the need to help the local government councils access the facility.
Governor Ahmed, in a statement issued and signed by his Senior Special Assistant in Media and Communication, Dr. Muideen Akorede, expressed optimism that in the coming months, the government would be able to facilitate other interventions to help the councils clear a larger proportion of their existing arrears and eventually clear all the arrears.
Governor Ahmed said that with the local governments taking over their revenue collection, the councils would be able to generate the revenue needed to gradually offset part of their arrears and, more importantly, build some infrastructure.