The Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressives’ Union on Sunday urged the Kwara State Government to prioritise payment of salary arrears to teachers, local government workers and others.

The National President of the union, Alhaji AbdulHameed Adi, made the call while addressing a news conference in llorin on Sunday.

Adi said the call became necessary after the state Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, said the payment of school teachers and local government employees was the responsibility of the local councils.

He said the non-payment of teachers’ salaries for about seven months had adversely affected primary and junior secondary schools in the state.

For instance, he said the government was owing members of staff of Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin,  eight months’ salaries;   Kwara State College of Arabic and Islamic Studies’ workers  10 months’ salaries, adding that public servancts at the  Kwara  State College of Education, Oro were being owed nine months’ salary arrears.

Responding the Kwara State Government said it wass doing everything within its power to find a sustainable solution to the salary crisis in the state.

The Senior Special Assistant to the state Governor on Media and Communications, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, stated this in a statement released in Ilorin.

Akorede said the inability of the state government to pay salaries was caused by the huge drop in Federal Allocation to all tiers of government in the country.

He also said the inability of the institutions to raise their share of the internally generated revenue to augment the Federal Government subvention, as earlier agreed, contributed to the non-payment of the salaries.

“Nevertheless, the government has commenced the process of remedying the situation with the payment of five months’ arrears to workers in the College of Arabic and Islamic Studies Ilorin,” the statement said.

Akorede said government had released N50m to the Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin last week, and that the balance of N17m would be released soon.

According to the statement, the remaining tertiary institutions in the state will be paid in the due course and as funds become available.

The government also assured the IEDPU that it was already working on its recommendation to focus on agriculture and solid minerals development for diversifying the state’s economy.

It stressed, however, that these measures were long term and could not be relied on to solve the current problems bedevilling all tiers of government in the country.

The governor’s aide restated Governor Ahmed’s commitment to ending the salary payment problem in the state.