Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: LG Workers' Salaries - Plateau Govt Denies Lodging Money in Wonder Bank'

Jos — The Plateau State Government has dismissed speculations that it had been unable to pay the three months salaries promised local government workers who called off a prolonged strike last year because the money was deposited in a distressed wonder finance house.

The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Dr. Paul Wai, said in a statement, weekend, that contrary to speculations, the money was neither fixed in a bank nor deposited in the wonder high interest paying finance house which has now gone under.

He said it was also untrue that government had refused to implement the agreement reached with the local government workers, especially the payment of three months salaries or that government obtained a loan to pay them.

Said the statement: "All Local Government Councils have paid the October and November salaries in full while December payments have since commenced. Meantime, Local Government Management Committee Chairmen, including the Plateau State Universal Basic Education Board, PSUBEB, are hereby directed to complete all payments as agreed within one week.

"Government hereby debunks the insinuations that monies meant for the payment of staff salaries for the months of the strike were either deposited in fixed accounts, or invested in Fadama or used to fund political campaigns. Such insinuations are totally baseless, mischievous and calculated attempts to set the workers against government and present government in bad light to the public.

"It is equally important to state categorically that the Plateau State Government did not obtain any loan or credit facility from any bank to pay agreed salaries as it is being speculated by some mischief makers".

There had been speculations that the government was offering to pay just two of the three months agreed to because the commercial bank from which it was seeking to obtain a loan did not give it enough to pay the three months.

Some also claimed that contrary to the assurance from government that the seven months salaries of the workers which were unpaid during the strike were intact, the money had either been lost in the distressed finance house or fixed in banks. But the commissioner said the allegations were unfounded.

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