The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Wednesday gave bailout funds of N1.6 billion to Area Councils to clear the salaries of their staff for January and February 2016. The six Area Councils have been battling to pay the salaries of their workers which have crippled the activities at the local level.
Briefing the press about the bailout funds, the Minister of the FCT, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello called on the Area Council chairmen to make judicious use of the money to pay staff salaries saying the money should be used for the purpose it was meant for. He said the FCTA went extra mile to get the money to pay the workers while he called on the leadership of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to monitor the disbursement of the funds in the councils.
FCT Permanent Secretary, Dr Babatope Ajakaiye said he headed the committee that worked on the bailout with the six Area Council chairmen and Director of Treasury as members to resolve the crisis.
“We have given N1.6billion to the Area Councils to offset the January and February of their workers. This administration believes in due process and lawful ways of doing things and that is why we were at the National Assembly to get permission to get the funds. We advised the chairmen to get the approval of their legislatures before disbursing the funds,” the Permanent Secretary said. 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.
The breakdown of the funds show that Kwali Area Council got N251, 120,125.32, Bwari N289,724,550, Abaji N267,724,534.80k, Kuje N295,708,856.60 and Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) got N300million. The Gwagwalada Area Council allocation is being worked on as at the time of filing this report. 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.