Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has decried the payment of local government pensioners in percentages, stressing that it was not necessary because LG pensioners earn little amounts.
Engineer Sule made this known while addressing officials of the joint union of labour, marking this year’s Labour Day, at the Presidential Lodge, on Friday.
The Governor, who said he doesn’t believe in paying salaries in percentages, said he had cause to direct council officials not to pay pensioners in percentages because must of them don’t earn much.
Though Engineer Sule agreed that the councils, for the past three months, have been facing financial constraints, as a result of the downfall in revenue occasioned by the outbreak of the coronavirus, he however appealed to the unions to work together with the councils to find solutions to the challenges confronting the councils.
“I don’t believe in payment of salaries in percentages. I tried as much as possible to see how we can find ways to compensate people for what they deserve.
“At the LG level, I told them they can’t pay 75 percent of salaries and pensioners, who are earning peanuts, and you pay them 75 percent again. That’s why the DG Pensions paid them one hundred percent,” he explained.
While noting that the LG are owing pensioners one month outstanding pension, the Governor said this was because the councils lack sufficient funds.
The Governor expressed satisfaction with calls by the unions for a workable resolution of percentage payment of salaries at the LG level, describing as ‘unbelievable’ their suggestion that in case allocation is not enough to pay full salaries, it should be kept until the following month.
“For me, the carry home today, is that even the labour unions are kind enough to say, you know what, if it is not enough, keep it and pay us full salary next month, I mean, there is no better understanding than that,” Engineer Sule stated.
He pointed out that even though his administration has continued to keep its promise, paying salaries and pensions in full, the Governor however urged workers in the state to braze up for tough times ahead following the global economic shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You don’t need any magician to tell you the economic challenges of the future are going to be enormous.
“So for a state that relies over 90 percent on FG allocation, once the FG allocation coughs, Nasarawa state catches cold,” Engineer Sule said.
He used the opportunity to stressed the need to maintain peace in the state, as according to him, peace is what is going to bring progress and development to the state.