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I Want Nasarawa To Pay Salaries Without Recourse To Federal Allocation, Says Engineer Sule

….as TUC declare total support for Governor’s second term bid

Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, said his vision is for the state to have enough savings to be able to pay the salaries of workers without depending on the monthly federal allocation.

Engineer Sule made this known when he hosted officials of the state chapter of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), at the Government House, on Tuesday.

According to the Governor, even though Nasarawa State belongs to the category of states referred to as civil service states, with the state having the wait for the arrival of monthly federal allocation before it could pay the salary of workers, his administration is working toward ensuring that the state more than salary as savings in the bank.

“My dream, and I am praying by the grace of God, I will leave the state in that order. My dream is to ensure that we have more than salaries kept as savings in the bank. That way, every month, before we even receive our allocation, because it’s a liability on our part, a responsibility that we must take care of anyway, so we can go ahead and pay our salaries and when the money comes, it will just go and replace that,” he stated.

He disclosed that his administration has so far saved some money mainly for the payment of gratuity, towards sustaining the payment of gratuity to retired civil servants.

“So far, we have been saving. We have saved some money purely for this gratuity. Because we started paying gratuity, a certain amount every month.

“We have already gotten the people to be used to every two or three months, the elderly will come and line up and they will be paid off their gratuity. Since we got people to get used to that, I don’t want to stop. And that is the reason why we have made some savings, not something that we have found on the ground,” he said.

He explained that recent delays being experienced in the payment of salaries is as a result of delayed disbursement of the federation allocation.

Engineer Sule noted that, while his administration was able to stabilise full payment of monthly salary at the state level, the case is not the same at the local government area level, with the state government having to augment the councils before they could pay one hundred per cent salaries.

The Governor used the opportunity to clear the air surrounding the autonomy of the councils and how his administration could not be blamed for the inability of the councils to pay staff salaries.

He pointed out that the Joint Account meetings by the local governments were meant to pool resources together, to ensure that every council can pay full salaries of workers and not for the councils to remit part of their subvention to the state.

“They don’t have that meeting so that when there is money left, they will give it to the state government. Since I came, they never had any money left. What they had is the opposite. Even with everything that we have done, we are lacking N250m, how can you help us,” he said.

Engineer Sule said, even with the local government JAC meeting, his administration often, augment the councils to the tune of about N250m to enable the councils to pay salaries.

He, therefore, charged union officials in the state, to enlighten the people towards realising that his administration has granted the councils full autonomy and that it is not the responsibility of the state government to pay the salaries of local government workers.

The Governor equally commended the people of the state for the relative peace being enjoyed across Nasarawa State.

On the lingering impasse involving members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), over the management of the state-owned mega terminals in Lafia and Karu, Engineer Sule directed that the unions meet with the state Deputy Governor, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, to resolve the matter.

Earlier, in introductory remarks, Nasarawa State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress, Comrade Muhammed Umar Doma, said to the TUC never had it too well like under the present administration under the leadership of Engineer Sule.

“The purpose of this visit is a solidarity visit. This visit is in appreciation of what you have done to the people of Nasarawa State and the workers of Nasarawa State. Today, if we come out to say we are not grateful to you, then we are not grateful to God. And God will punish us,” Comrade Doma said.

The TUC said with Engineer Sule as Governor, civil servants in the state are well taken care of.

“We had issues of promotions, issues of arrears of gratuities, even on salary. But today, our salary is constant. There’s the constant payment of salaries, there’s the constant payment of gratuity, constant payment of pension. We have been attending meetings in other states and we know what they are facing,” the TUC chairman said.

The TUC thereafter declared its total support behind the Governor’s second term bid.

“And we want to tell the whole world, that TUC in Nasarawa State is totally behind Engineer A A Sule and Dr Emmanuel Akabe. And we have no doubt. I am saying these things with conviction. Your coming in 2023 is our collective job. Every civil servant in this state must come out and vote for A. A Sule,” he stated.

The TUC chairman used the opportunity of the visit to place the union’s demands which centre around in-service training, enhanced car loans for workers, construction of a befitting secretariat for the union, as well as resolving the impasse between the RTEAN and NURTW.

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