Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has explained why some local government councils in the state were not able to pay March salaries in full.
The governor, who offered the explanation while hosting officials of the Nasarawa State Students Association on Tuesday in Lafia, said it was due to the economic challenges posed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sule said though the state government was able to pay its workers and pensioners in full, some councils were only able to pay their workers in percentage.
The governor pointed out that he refused to comment earlier about the development in order to respect the autonomy the councils presently enjoys.
He said: “I didn’t say anything about it because the LGCs are autonomous.
“A lot of people didn’t get to understand what is happening.
“At the state level we have paid workers 100 per cent of their salaries, 100 per cent of their pension, irrespective of the challenges we are facing.
“But because of the autonomy, a lot of the LGCs were not able to pay 100 per cent of salaries.”
Sule also disclosed that the state government has been assisting the local governments to pay full salaries for about three to four months now.
He said the assistance could not be sustained in March because there was no extra resources left to assist the councils, assuring however that the state government will look into the matter.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that COVID-19 pandemic had affected global economy and led to drop in oil price to less $30 per barrel.
Nigeria and the states were not left back in this global meltdown, which has limited their available financial resource.