The FCT Administration has released the sum of N1,679,825,308.1 as bailout to the six Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory for the payment of two months salaries owed their workers.
Others are Abaji, Kuje, Gwagwalada and Abuja Municipal Area Councils which received N267,724,550.00, N295,708,856.60, N262,559,501.26 and N312,987,740.12 respectively.
The Minister emphasized that the money is a bailout fund released to the Councils, which must be, used to offset the two- month salary arrears owed the Area Councils’ workers.
Malam Bello further disclosed that the bail out to the six Area Councils would be recovered by the FCT Administration from the10% of the internally generated revenue (IGR) statutorily due to the Councils.
Also speaking at the occasion, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye noted that the FCT Administration has been able to give this bailout because of its strict fiscal management and therefore admonished the Area Councils to imbibe discipline in funds management.
The Permanent Secretary urged the Councils to cut down on their unnecessary expenditure, stressing that the era of frivolities is gone forever.
He warned that the bailout must be used strictly for the payment of staff salaries as stated in the agreement between the FCT Administration and the Area Councils.
Dr. Ajakaiye further revealed that due process and necessary legal steps were followed in the approval and subsequent release of the bailout funds. He said that the Administration approached the National Assembly for virement of its funds for this purpose, while Area Councils’ Legislative arms have also given their nod to the Chairmen to secure the bailout via letters to the FCT Administration.
The FCT ALGON Chairman who is also the Chairman of the Abuja Municipal Area Council, Mr. Micah Jiba who spoke on behalf of his colleagues thanked the FCT Minister and the Permanent Secretary for their fatherly disposition to come to their aid. He promised that the money would be used for just the purpose they were meant.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the FCT NULGE, Comrade Tanko Shemdi, appreciated the FCT Administration for intervening by assisting to bring the crisis to an end.
It may be noted that four members of the FCT Traditional Council led by its Chairman and the Ona of Abaji were witnesses at the occasion.