Lafia - Nasarawa Governor Tanko Al-makura on Monday gave a cheque of N4.3 billion as part of Federal Government's bailout for payment of salary arrears to workers in the local governments in the state.
The governor presented the cheque to Alh. Suleiman Wambi, the Chairman of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) in the state.
Al-makura made the presentation at an elaborate ceremony attended by local government chairmen, leaders of organised labour, traditional rulers and other stakeholders.
The governor said that the open presentation was made to clear the air on the rumour making the round that the bailout fund had been diverted to some other projects.
Almakura said that the rumour was "unfounded and a mischief directed against this government which has always been labour-friendly’’.
He said that the state got the fund a week ago and this would only augment the salary arrears up till October.
He said each local government would have to device the means of paying salaries of workers from November if allocation from the federation account did not improve.
The governor commended the ongoing screening and documentation exercise embarked on by local government areas in the state.
He said the exercise would help to address the challenge of ghost workers, which he said, had eaten deep into the finances of the local councils.
On his part, Wambai applauded Almakura for being the best labour- friendly governor in terms of holistic implementation of minimum wage.
"There has never been joint account in Nasarawa State and I can assure you that Almakura has never tampered with the finances of local governments.
"Our most worrisome discovery, however, was the fact that some people are working and collecting salaries in more than three different places," he said.
The state Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Abdullahi Adeka, pledged the support of the union to the efforts to sanitise the local government system in the state.