By Joy Odor
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, said he is not comfortable paying salaries in percentages because throughout his working life, which spans close to 30 years, he never received his salary in percentages.
Engineer Sule stated this while parleying with suspended local government Directors of Personnel Management (DPMs) and Finance and Supplies (DFAs), at the Government House, on Monday.
According to the Governor, with what God has done for him, his conscience will not be clear, if as chief executive of the state, he starts paying salaries in percentages.
Engineer Sule, who was meeting for the first time with the suspended LG DPMs and DFAs, said he invited them in order to hear from them in the spirit of fair hearing.
While reaffirming his administration’s respect for financial autonomy for the local government, the Governor however said he is interested in the affairs of the councils because the welfare of the entire people of the state is his responsibility.
“For that reason, I constantly want to find out whether things are going on well or not. And in most cases, it’s not going well,” he said.
Engineer Sule he invited the suspended LG officials, to hear their side of the story, since they were suspended over two months ago.
The Governor recalled that DPMs and DFAs at the councils, were suspended over two months ago, based on complaints that they constituted the problem at the local government level.
“The truth of the matter is, you have gone now more than two months, but the problem has not been solved.
“I will say that even if you are the problem, you are only part of the problem, because the problem is still there,” Engineer Sule stated.
He explained that the meeting was for him to satisfy himself that he has been fair to them, even as he noted that a committee is presently investigating financial activities at the local government level, which may invite some of the DPMs and DFAs to appear before it.
Engineer Sule appealed to the suspended LG officials to guide his administration on how best to resolve the lingering issues bothering the local government, stressing that he is willing to take any decision to correct the anomalies.
The Governor added that he invited them because he wanted to be fair, urging the suspended LG officials to be honest in identifying the problems bedevilling the councils.
He said he earlier approved for their suspension because he could not allow the DPMs and DFAs, numbering about 100 only, hold the entire state to a standstill.
“I’m begging you in the name of God. If you know the problem, if you guide me, I will not be afraid to take a decision to correct it,” he stated.
Responding on behalf of the suspended LG officials Mohammed Baban Keke, DFA Karu Local Government Area, thanked the Governor for according them fair hearing, with a view to clearing any doubt and to proffer solutions to the problems at the local government level.