By LAMINO GAMBO ISHAQ
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi A. Sule has that all local government pensioners be paid their pension on Wednesday.
The Governor gave the directive during a meeting with the Special Adviser on Local Government, Chairmen of Local Governments, Overseers of Development Areas, Director General of the state Pension Bureau and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs at Government House Lafia on Tuesday.
Governor Abdullahi Sule who expressed concern over the delay in the payment of the June Pension to local government pensioners in the state maintained that July salaries for local government workers will be also be paid before the Sallah break while pensioners on the local government payroll will be paid their July pension by next week.
"We are not in anyway interfering with the autonomy of the local governments. We still maintain the autonomy and even the monies for the month of July have also been shared in line with the autonomy and every local government has gotten its money" Governor Sule said.
"Now on the local government pensions for the month of July, that one because of the verification the Chairman mentioned will take till next week to be paid. At least they are getting their monies fir June this and they will get July next week" the Governor added.
Engineer Abdullahi Sule further stressed that someone who supported and encouraged the autonomy of local governments, he will continue support the local government chairmen to ensure salaries and pensions are paid as at when due.
On his part, Nasarawa State ALGON Chairman and also the Chairman of Lafia Local Government, Aminu Muazu Maifata said the Governor directed them in conjunction with the State Pension Bureau to ensure the full payment of local government pension for the month of June by Wednesday.
" Even though from the fifteen percent contributed by each local government council, the total sum will not be enough to pay one hundred percent, His Excellency graciously advised us with his wisdom and we found a window to borrow the shortfall, with that pension payment for June will be done hundred percent tomorrow" Maifata stated.
Aminu Muazu stressed that even though salaries for June were fully paid, it did not occur without borrowing from the VAT account adding that the VAT accounts are for capital projects hence the borrower funds will have to be repayed.
This according to Maifata has put all Chairmen on their feet and has also forced them to think outside the box in order to source for more Internally Generated Revenue to augument any shortfall in the future.
He added that Chairmen have embarked on verification exercises that will be continuous via a data biometric data capture exercise, stating that the little verification already conducted will be sustained in the payment of salaries.
"It used to be a common pool, the ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs will do the whole work before but now the responsibility has now been shifted to us overnight as such we are going to be equal to the task" Maifata stressed.