The Nigerian Labour Congress on Tuesday in Abakaliki, exonerated Ebonyi Government for the delay in payment of June salary to some workers in Ebonyi.
Leonard Nkah, state Chairman of NLC in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, explained that the delay was due to compliance with the directive of the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit on financial autonomy for local government councils.
Workers affected by the delay were local government workers and teachers in primary and junior secondary schools in Ebonyi.
Nkah, who is also the President, Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees, Ebonyi chapter, commended affected workers for their patience and understanding.
He assured the workers that their June salary would soon be paid.
He said that information available to the union indicated that efforts were in top gear to ensure payment of the salary before the end of the week.
He said: “The union would have confronted the government on the issue.
“But we are armed with certain information and this information has to do with the new fiscal regulation from NFIU that started in June, which granted financial autonomy to local government system.
“Ordinarily, state government which has been handling everything like a ‘big brother’ concerning salaries would have if not for the new rule, gone out of her way to borrow money from their banks like they usually do and pay the workers.”
He added that the Federation Allocation Accounts Committee recently shared the May allocations.
He said the non-payment of June salary was also caused by current adjustments which the councils were undergoing due to the new financial regime in the local government system.
He said: “The FAAC shared the May allocations two weeks ago and cheques for the 13 local government areas were lodged in their respective accounts on Wednesday, July 3.
“Because of the information available to us and our engagement with the relevant authorities, there was no need for any agitation since we are already aware that state government was not responsible for the delay.
“We therefore appeal to our resilient and hardworking members affected by the delay to be patient as their salary will hit their various accounts before Friday.
“We once again, commend Governor Dave Umahi for placing priority on workers’ salaries by ensuring prompt payment.”
Nkah urged local government chairmen to maintain prudence and discipline in their handling of the finances accruing to their local government areas.
He said that NULGE since 2005 has been in the fore-front for the agitation of fiscal, political and administrative autonomy for local government system in Nigeria.