Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has said the only panacea for resolving salary crisis was to increase the volume of the state’s Internally- Generated Revenue (IGR).
Ahmed, who spoke at a meeting with the officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), said yesterday in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant (SSA), Media, Dr. Muideen Akorede, that increased IGR was the only way the state could survive its economic challenges.
He urged the people to support the state Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS) to meet its revenue targets so that salary arrears would become a thing of the past.
Ahmed assured the workers that the N5 billion bailout for the payment of salary and pension arrears for the local governments would be released soon by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He expressed concern about the hardship council workers and pensioners were facing, following the arrears, which was caused by a drop in monthly federal allocation.
The governor hailed the workers and pensioners for their patience and pledged to ensure that the funds were released.
According to him, the bailout, when received, would clear the arrears in the 16 local governments.
Ahmed said the government received N4.3 billion bailout promised by the Federal Government to clear the two months’ arrears owed civil servants.
He also told the union leaders that the Federal Government had restructured the state government’s N15 billion debt into a low-interest 20-year bond.
The governor said the expected savings would enhance the government’s capacity to meet its salary obligations and other responsibilities.
He said the government was putting together a special package to turn around Radio Kwara, The Herald and Kwara Television to enable them generate revenue to cover their overheads and contribute to the IGR.