The Kwara state government has denied interfering with the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) in the distribution of local government allocations.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Demola Banu in response to a reported threat by the Kwara state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to sue the state government for its handling of the joint allocation committee.
Alhaji Banu emphasized that the allocation to the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) for the payment of basic education teachers is statutorily treated as a first line charge on local government allocation. He added that the state government does not interfere with the decisions of the joint allocation committee, but participates in a supervisory role. According to him, every decision made by the committee was based on the consensus of its members such as local government council chairmen, their treasurers.
Alhaji Banu further noted that the decision to concede the sum of N59 million to local government pensioners out of the N180m augmentation was based on the consensus of the 16 at the Joint Account Allocation Committee meeting on Tuesday.
Likewise, the commissioner said that the decision to concede ten per cent of the state’s internally generated revenue to basic education teachers in the state was also agreed upon at the same meeting.
On the Budget support scheme, Alhaji Banu clarified that it was a loan provided by the federal government to the state government and that it was not designated for the payment of salaries.
The commissioner, therefore, called on NULGE to adopt dialogue rather than threats to promote the interest of its members.
He noted that the state government empathizes with Local government workers and pensioners as demonstrated by Governor Ahmed’s approval of N162m as augmentation for July salaries and his willingness to assist them for the month of August within the limits of the law and available resources.