From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse
Jigawa local government councils may not be able to pay subsequent workers salaries in the coming months if the monthly federal allocation to the state is halted.
Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar has, however, assured state workers of payment of their monthly salaries even if there is zero federal allocation to the state.
The governor, who made the declaration on Saturday during the annual Workers’ Day celebrations at the Sir Ahmadu Bello Hall in Dutse, said the state has saved enough to tackle the situation.
In his words, ‘that was why when we were heavily saving from what we’ve been getting may have criticised the action as anti people, but today we will raise our heads high and save the situation with our savings.’
Badaru said his administration has managed to cut spendings of the governor’s office and the deputy, together with slashing of ministries overhead and running costs which ‘enabled us to save enough for this rainy day.
‘Even when the directive that local governments should be given their complete monies, we were still supporting most of them to be able to pay their workers salaries,’ he declared.
The governor, who responded to text messages he said he received pleading with him to intervene and make local government staffs salaries to be paid on the 25th just like the state workers salaries, said he has no such powers.
He questioned how the local governments would be able to pay their workers now that they have absolute control of their accounts and ‘there is no way that we can afford to temper with their accounts,’ he stated.
‘If we loan them monies how do we retrieve it at the end of the day, when we don’t have powers to do so,’ said the governor. He, however, agreed that the Commissioner for Finance could make arrangements with a willing bank to issue them loans to pay salaries if they so wish.
The governor has also assured that apart from the salaries that would be paid in the coming months, the N30,000 minimum wage would be maintained together with pensions and gratuities of retired state workers.