By Abdullahi Olesin, Ilorin
The Kwara State governor, Alh Abdulfatah Ahmed has called for adequate funding of local governments across the country.
He said adequate fiscal allocation to the third tier of government remains the only viable solution to the myriad of problems plaguing the councils,especially payment of salaries and pensions.
Ahmed who clarified that the state government is not owning its workers any salary arrears, said the feat was made possible by windows of opportunities that were’ open to the state in revenue generation drive.
Lamenting the plight of local government workers and pensioners in the state over varied degree of salary arrears they are being owed, Ahmed blamed the situation on the persisting dwindling allocation from the federation account to both the states and local government areas across the country.
“At the state level, we are able to pay workers salaries as and when due because of other sources of revenue generation that are opened to us, but unfortunately the local government do not have such privileges because of the way and manner of their establishment.
To get out of the current mess, Ahmed called for a local government reform, adding that the local governments must be made to be economically viable.
On the problem of water supply in Ilorin, the governor said that provision of potable water in parts of the state had remained a problem because of increasing population in the state.
He noted that the influx of people from different part of the country to Ilorin because of its peaceful environment had put pressure on water facility.
The governor, who described the state as a gateway between the South West and the North, said that the prevailing peaceful and harmonious atmosphere in the state had made it conducive for people to settle away from trouble prone areas of the country.
He said that once the ongoing reticulation of water pipes and repair of water works were completed, the persistent water problem would be alleviated.
Ahmed also cleared the air on Joint allocation committee, saying that the committee did not join the state government with the LGs, while stressing that “it’s joint among the 16 LGs. States can’t reform the LGs. It requires FG reforms and constitutional amendments. And it is the reform of the LGs that will broaden the revenue base of the LGs to meet their obligation”.
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