Nasarawa LGs Sacrifice VAT to Pay Salaries, Pensions

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ABDULLAHI SULE

Igbawase Ukumba in Lafia

As a result of short fall in the January 2020 federal allocation to the 13 local government areas of Nasarawa State, officials of the council areas have sacrificed the Value Added Tax (VAT) allocated to the areas for infrastructural development to pay salaries and pensions of workers and pensioners.

The state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Yusuf Turaki, disclosed this to journalists in Lafia yesterday.

He explained that the sacrifice became necessary because at the time the January allocation came, the council areas had a huge short fall of about N444 million.

According to the commissioner, “The staff salaries of the 13 LGAs also dropped. The amount we were looking for to pay the council area workers’ salaries was over N280 million. We were also looking for N160 million to augment and pay 100 percent to pensioners.

“Because of the human sympathy of the LGA chairmen, they accepted that their VAT for the month of January be taken to augment the payment of salaries and pensions.”

However, he continued that after using the VAT, the money was not still enough to pay the LGA workers and pensioners, hence out of sympathy, the state Governor, Abdullahi Sule, accepted to augment the balance of N14 million to make sure the workers and pensioners of the council areas get their salaries and pensions 100 percent.

“The same thing was applied in December 2019 to pensions. The governor gave N120 million to the 13 LGAs to see that pensioners get their pensions at 100 percent.

“However, the N120 million given by the governor in December last year for the payment of pensions was a loan facility. We pray that whatever comes at the end of March, we should be able to pay back the money,” Turaki noted.