From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Acting chairman of Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, Alhaji Imonofi Inusa, has denied the allegation of owing staff of the council two months salary.
He debunked the claim while reacting to the allegation made against him by some of his workers.
Alhaji Inusa said the council is following the footsteps of the state governor who does not trivialize the issues of welfare of the citizens of the state.
“The person who told you that is not telling you the truth.
“The state government does not take the salary of workers lightly and we are following the same so any local government chairman that is joking with staff salary, the governor will not take it lightly with such chairman.
“However, payment of salaries is based on the allocation that is coming in which is not the state government’s fault so it is on the basis of that we pay and allocation is not a hidden thing, it is an open thing”, he said.
However, some of the council workers have maintained that the council is owing them two months salary.
The workers also accused the acting chairman of the council of not keeping to his promise of giving training allowances to them while attending the local government training school in Bekuma, Akoko-Edo local government area.
“Normally, they promised the workers that they will give them books, give them N50,000 for feeding and others during the training but for three months they have been there, there is no payment and they are just there, they will come home and they will not get money as I speak, the council is owing workers two months’ salary.
“The acting chairman of the council recently embarked on a screening to weed out some workers which is to witch-hunt some persons.
“Out of the 18 local government areas, 12 are being owed salaries. The people of my local government have been sent to Bekuma but they are not given the money needed to be trained, some of them will borrow money to come home and when they go to the council, they are not attended to”, they said.
But reacting to the issue of not payment of training allowances, Inusa said payment was based on the available resources.
“Salary is statutory that we must pay, such allowance is not statutory, anytime that the council is comfortable they will be paid”, he said.
While reacting on the allegation of staff reduction, he said there are several over aged workers in the council who are still in service using sworn affidavits and that he has written to the Local Government Service Commission for such exercise to be carried out.