The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), has accused Edo State government of hijacking internally Generated Revenue of Local Government Councils in the State in breach of the relevant laws.
Mr. Olumuyiwa Cole, Secretary, NULGE, Edo Chapter disclosed this in a statement on Friday in Benin City, the State Capital where he lamented the non payment of Councils’ workers salary areas ranging from two to 17 months.
NULGE said, “for as much as we may not be able to contest the payment of salary to State workers, we can categorically say, without any iota of fear of contradiction, that Edo government is owing Councils.
According to him, the Internally Generated Revenue sources where Local Government could have augmented have been taken over by the State government.
“This is to State the obvious fact that the State government, irrespective of being a separate tier of government, is liable for the arrears of salaries owed Local government workers.
“We frown at the position of the Government on the subject matter as posited by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Project that even LGA workers are not owed any salaries”.
“We acknowledge the fact that Local Governments are responsible for the payment of workers under them.
“But it is a fact that the funds/account from where they are paid is managed by the State government and it is from what is allocated to each Local Government that salaries are paid”.
But the, State government had in a statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Projects, Mr Crusoe Osagie, criticised a BudGit report rating which listed Edo among the States across the federation that are indebtedness to workers.
Osagie said in the statement that: “We hereby debunk the misleading media report by a civic-tech organization, that the Edo Government is owing workers six months’ salaries. The report is not only false and mischievous, it is disingenuous in its intentions.
“The State Government does not owe State workers’ salaries. On the contrary, Edo is the first State to increase the minimum wage to N40,000 above the nationally approved N30,000. It has also been consistent in paying the new wage to workers”, according to him.