Niger State Govt Complies With NFIU Directives On LG Autonomy

Niger State Gov. Abubakar Sani Bello

The Niger State Government says it has complied with the directives by the National Finance Intelligent Unit (NFIU) by allowing direct federal allocations to accounts of Local Government Areas(LGAs) in the state.
Alhaji Akilu Kuta, the Permanent Secretary of the state’s Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs made this known while speaking to newsmen in Minna on Wednesday.
Kuta said that since the state complied with the directives 13 out of the 25 LGAs have not been able to pay workers salaries owing to their staff strength and what accrued to them as allocation.
He said government then resorted to augmenting the monthly allocations of the affected LGAs with between N500 million and N600 million to ensure payment of salaries.
He said that the affected LGAs included -Chanchaga, Bosso, Bida, Suleja, Kontagora, Mokwa, Paikoro, Shiroro, Lavun, Lapai, Agaie, Rijau and Tafa.
The permanent secretary said, however, that none of the 25 LGAs in the state are owing workers salaries at present
“The resources that come to the state from federation account is dwindling and obviously there are instances that we may not have been able to pay, but we still have our ways of augmenting if such happens.
“We don’t have issues with the payment of salaries as it affects LGA workers.
“Since the inception of this administration, I don’t think we have defaulted.
“Sometimes we have a high and low inflow of allocation, but on the average, we augment for these LGAs within the range of between N500m and N600 million monthly,” he said.
Kuta explained that the ministry depends on overdraft to tackle the issue.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that recently, Alhaji Abdulkareem Lafene, Chairman, National Union of Local Government Employee (NULGE) in the state had raised alarm that following the directive of NFIU on implementation of direct allocation to LGAs,13 out of the 25 councils in the state cannot pay their staff salaries.
Lafena also said that the direct allocation policy already being implemented in the state had achieved close to 90 percent successes. (NAN)