Ilorin - The Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Kwara has withdrawn the 14-day ultimatum it gave the state government over unpaid salaries of council workers.
Mr Abayomi Afolabi, the NULGE State Secretary, disclosed this to newsmen in Ilorin after a meeting involving officials of the state government, state ALGON executive committee and NULGE on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state NULGE had given the state government a 14-day notice of a strike if it failed to ensure the payment of salaries owed its members.
Afolabi said the union had reached an understanding with the state government, and that government had agreed to pay all outstanding salaries to the workers.
"A communication gap between labour and the government caused the issuance of the ultimatum," the NULGE official said.
He however said it would be wrong for anybody to insinuate that the union members were being used or manipulated by opposition parties in the state.
Afolabi said local government workers should not be denied their entitlements because majority of those who elected those in government were at the grass roots.
The NULGE Secretary said the union was not opposed to the bio-metric verification of the workers’ identity as well as the joint project account in the state.
"We only frown at the non-payment of salaries," he said.
Afolabi expressed the belief that all the issues raised during the meeting would go a long way to bring about development, accountability and value for money in the local government areas.
Also speaking to newsmen at the end of the meeting, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Ademola Banu, said the meeting yielded fruitful discussion.
He appealed to the workers to show more understanding with the local government system in the state.
The Commissioner explained that the delay in salary payment was caused by late release of federal allocation to the state in the past few months.
"The shortfall in the federal allocation had brought about a fundamental challenge, which called for concerted efforts of all stakeholders in the state," he said.
Banu assured that the meeting between the two sides would be made regular to bridge the communication gap.