By Demola Akinyemi
Ilorin—Stakeholders in Kwara State are calling for urgent review in the composition of Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) over four months of unpaid salaries of local government workers in the state.
The JAAC is responsible for the sharing of the monthly allocations from the federal government to the state and local governments.
By the existing law in the state, the federal monthly allocations to the state and the sixteen local governments are to be shared at the monthly FAAC meetings.
The Chairman of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) in Kwara state, Alhaji Lateef Okandeji, said financial situation in the local governments in the state called for the review of the executives of FAAC as already done in Nasarawa and Kaduna states.
According to him, “There is need to review the extant FAAC laws in the state in order to remove mutual suspicion among the stakeholders as to the genuineness of the near perfect synergy relationship between the state government and the local government which is the third tier of government.
“We have good examples in Kaduna and Nasarawa states where such had already been done and improvements in their local governments since then are remarkably outstanding.”
Vanguard reliably gathered that the composition of the executives of JAAC in the state has been seen to be largely lopsided, thereby stifling developments in the local governments.
The chairman, deputy chairman and secretary of FAAC in the state who primarily allocate the resources are state government appointee.
Vanguard gathered that this among others have led to poor and undeserved allocations and lack of remarkable developments in the sixteen local governments.
Vanguard checks also revealed that the mounting debts of loans obtained by the state government for the local governments to pay staff salaries have become a burden to the extent that it is now difficult to obtain another loan to pay the salaries which have now accumulated to four months.
A pensioner who craved anonymity in an interview with Vanguard blamed the persisting problem in the local government on the federal monthly allocations that are not being allowed to be directly accessed by the local governments.
But a source in the ministry of finance said the dwindling allocations to the councils were the cause of global economic crisis occasioned by the continued drop in oil prices.
“The blame of poor allocations on the composition of leadership of FAAC and indirectly on the state government is not fair, instead of that everyone should commend Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed for his untiring efforts at alleviating problems of monthly salaries and development not only in the local governments but at the state levels” he added.