Posted by News Express | 22 September 2015 | 3,161 times
Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed has said that the only panacea to resolve the salary crisis affecting state was to increase the volume of its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Ahmed said this on Sunday night during a meeting with officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP).
The governor, in a release signed by his Senior Special Assistant (SSA), Media, Dr. Muideen Akorede, on Monday said increased IGR was the only way the state can survive its current economic challenges, while also endorsing the set aside of the sum of N150 million as loan for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) under its new Next Enterprise Scheme.
He therefore called on the people to support the state Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS) to meet its revenue targets so that salary arrears in the state would become a thing of the past.
Ahmed assured the workers that the N5 billion bailout for the payment of salary and pension arrears for the local governments would be released soon by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The governor expressed concern over the hardship local government workers and pensioners were facing by the arrears which he said was due to drop in monthly federal allocation.
He commended the workers and pensioners for their patience and pledged to continue working to ensure that the funds were released without further delay.
According to him, the bailout, when received, will clear existing arrears in the 16 local government councils of the state.
Ahmed said the state government received N4.3 billion bailout promised by the Federal Government to clear the two months’ arrears owed state civil servants.
He also told the union leaders that the federal government has restructured the state government’s N15 billion debt into a low-interest 20-year bond.
He said the expected savings would enhance the state government’s capacity to meet its salary obligations and other responsibilities.
Ahmed said government was putting together a special package to turn around Radio Kwara, The Herald and Kwara Television to enable them generate revenue to cover their overheads and contribute to IGR.
He also through his Technical Adviser on Micro and Medium Enterprises, Mr. Olusegun Soewu, announced the setting aside the sum of N150 million as loan for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) under its new Next Enterprise Scheme.
Mr. Soewu made this known on Monday while briefing newsmen on the new scheme.
Soewu explained that beneficiaries of the loan would receive between N3 million and N10 million depending on the project they want to embark on.
He said the loan would attract an interest of five percent while terms of repayment would be dictated by the type of business and machinery to be installed.
Soewu said the first phase of the empowerment scheme involved N250 million and had a net return of about N1. 202 billion covering some areas of enterprises.
These, he said, were agriculture which received N27.5 million, commercial buses, N62.9 million; commercial motorcycles, N45 million; and taxi cabs, N75million.
Soewu said himself and five others would serve as managers to scrutinise applicants’ proposals while eminent personalities had been appointed as Captains to advise and mentor beneficiaries.
The captains include the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Esuwoye, former Chief of Naval Staff, retired Admiral Samuel Afolayan, and Chief Gabariel Adewumi.
Others are Waheed Olagunju of the Bank of Industries, Mr Kunle Afolayan and Alhaji Yusuf OlaOlu Ali (SAN). (NAN)
•Photo shows Gov. Ahmed
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