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Striking area councils staff to get pay

Striking area councils staff to get pay Striking area council staff to get pay By Ben Atonko & Abubakar Sadiq Isah Staff of the area…

Striking area councils staff to get pay

Striking area council staff to get pay

By Ben Atonko & Abubakar Sadiq Isah

Staff of the area councils will now heave a sigh of relief as the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has released N1.6 billion bailout fund to the six area councils for the payment of two months salaries owed them.

Area council workers have been on strike over unpaid salaries for January and February since middle of this month.

The money was released to the six area councils yesterday in a ceremony in the Area 11 office of the FCT minister, Malam Muahammad Musa Bello.

Kwali Area Council got N251 million, Bwari Area Council N289 million, Abaji N267, Kuje N295, Gwagwalada N262.

Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) got the lion’s share of N312 million.

The FCT minister regretted that area council staff went on strike over unpaid salaries promising that such would not be allowed to continue.

The minister emphasized that the money is a bailout which must be used specifically for staff salaries.

Speaking earlier, the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye maintained that the money is a debt and it will be recovered through deductions from the 10 percent given to them from the FCTA Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Ajakaiye who said it is not the responsibility of FCTA to pay local council workers’ salaries said the money given to the councils was from proceeds from cost saving measures of the administration.

He said the administration approached the National Assembly for virement to enable it dip its hand in the treasury, while the area councils’ legislative arms had also given their nod for their chairmen to secure the bailout via letters to the FCTA.

The FCT Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) chairman, who is the chairman of AMAC, Mr Micah Jiba, thanked the FCT minister for the help.

Similarly, the chairman of the FCT NULGE, Comrade Tanko Shemdi appreciated the FCTA for the assistance.

FCT traditional council chairmen led by their chairman, the Ona of Abaji, Alhaji Adamu Baba Yunusa were witnesses at the event.

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