As local governments celebrate the autonomy granted them, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has said that some of them would find it difficult to pay salaries without borrowing.
“In my state, nine local governments, out of the 13, cannot pay salaries with their allocations from the federation account. It means they will have to borrow every month, to meet that obligation,” Mr Sule said on Saturday in Awe.
The governor spoke at a ceremony to flag-off the construction of classroom blocks, toilets and solar-powered boreholes at Mahanga community in Awe.
The projects are being executed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), office in the state.
The governor blamed the inability to pay the salaries on the huge workforce carried by the local governments, and the lack of initiative of the leaders who have proved too lazy to generate revenue internally.
He advised rural dwellers to be careful while deciding the type of leaders that would manage affairs at the local governments and specifically cautioned them against electing people with questionable character whose sole interest is to loot.
“Local governments must begin to look inward towards generating money to pay salaries and save, even before they get allocations from the federation account.
“They (local governments), must be able to generate money to complement allocations because relying on allocations alone is archaic,” the governor added.
He warned local government chairpersons against tampering with government funds, saying that anyone caught would face the full wrath of the law.
Mr Sule said that he was among the first governors to support the idea of financial autonomy for local governments, and promised never to tamper with their funds throughout his tenure.