Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara has urged the new local government councils chairmen in the state to find a sustainable solution to salary crisis in their local governments.
Ahmed made the call on Tuesday during the swearing-in of 16 newly elected local government chairmen at the Government House, Ilorin.
He also urged them to synergize with all relevant stakeholders to raise Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to meet their statutory responsibilities.
The governor expressed concern over the plight of local government workers, pensioners, basic education workers and other workers experiencing salary and pension delays.
“I feel your pain. I feel your pain in the messages I receive from some of you, in the pleas of your leadership, the challenges faced by your families and the distress expressed in the public about your distress,’’ the governor said.
“Work with the legislature to enact enabling laws where non-exist, to back effective revenue drive and with Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS) to exploit existing revenue lines.
“Every local government, especially those in the cosmopolitan and populated areas, has latent revenue opportunities that must be identified and exploited without imposing additional burden on thepeople.
“That is the only way your administrations can survive and meet the people’s expectations,” Ahmed said.He advised them to prioritize due process and prudence in the administration of their various councils.
The governor warned them to shun unnecessary appointments, ostentatious living and other conducts that could call their integrity to question and hamper capacity to uplift the people in these challenging times.
He urged them to give security prompt attention and design effective strategies to identify security challenges for prompt action.
Also speaking, the State Commissioner for Local Government, Alhaji Haruna Tambiri said the swearing-in was in line with the provisions of the fourth schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Local Government Law of Kwara State K33 Section 20.
Tambiri recalled that the tenure of the last elected chairmen in the state ended on Nov. 10 2016 but paucity of fund led to the appointment of caretaker committees.
The Chairman of Ekiti Local Government Area, Mr Yinka Dallas who responded on behalf of others promised that they would partner the state government and its agencies to improve internally generated revenue to meet their challenges, especially, the payment of workers’ salaries.