Kwara replies SERAP over petition to ICC, denies owing workers

By Toyin Durosinlohun, Ilorin
Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed has described the decision of a rights advocacy group, to include him in a petition to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged non payment of salaries
to workers.Reacting to the decision of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to petition court, Ahmed in s statement issued in Ilorin said the move is ill-informed and misdirected as well
as an attempt to whip up sentiments on an issue of national concern.

Ahmed described the action as baseless and lacking a foundation in fact as Kwara State is up to date in the payment of salaries to state civil servants and pensioners.
The governor stressed that SERAP may have been referring to the local government councils in the state, which receive separate allocations from the federal government and have varying degrees of staff and pension arrears.

Ahmed said despite drop in monthly allocation from N3.2b to N800m, the  state government has sustained payment of its civil servants and pensioners through prudent management of resources and revenue reforms.

He said he is currently working with local government chairmen in the state to redress salary arrears at that tier of government through measures such as the proposed takeover of Junior Secondary School
funding by the state to reduce the financial pressure on local governments.

He, therefore, wondered why SERAP will refer an issue involving contractual obligation between a government and its workers to the ICC which deals with criminal matters and settles legal disputes submitted to it by sovereign states.

The state governor pointed out that while the said LG pension and salary delays are unfortunate and painful, the issue is reflective of the financial gridlock currently confronting the country and is
neither intentional nor criminal in nature.

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