Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON, in Nasarawa has absolved the State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of any involvement in the inability of local government councils in the state to pay salaries of civil servants at the third tier of government.
State ALGON Chairman, Hon. Suleiman Wambai, who made the disclosure at the weekend at a press conference in Lafia, the state capital noted that it had become necessary to clear the air on the imbroglio surrounding the non-payment of local government staff in the state.
He affirmed that the state governor had accorded much respect to the fiscal autonomy of local government councils in the state since he (Al-Makura) assumed office in 2011.
The ALGON Chairman divulged that local councils in the state need a total of N2.2 billion to service the salaries of their workers which was made impossible by the drop in allocation from the federation account.
Hon. Wambai, who is also the Chairman of Lafia local government,  said the past shortfalls from federal allocations were augmented with savings from excess crude, subsidy re-investment programme, Sure-P and savings from other local governments who have excess after salaries of their staff are paid.
“Since we assumed office over a year ago, Governor Al-makura has not interfered with the finances accruing to local government areas in the state and for that reason has no involvement whatsoever in the current impasse regarding salaries of local government workers in the state”.
According to him, after exhausting the Sure-P and excess crude savings, local councils in the state resorted to bank overdrafts which they jettisoned after two months due to heavy interest rates charged by the banks and appealed to the affected civil servants to be more patient as everything was being done to address the situation.

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