Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger says he will meet with protesting former councillors in the state over their unpaid N1.27 billion severance benefits.
Abdulmalik Daji, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, disclosed this while briefing journalists in Minna.
Two hundred and seventy-four ex-councillors, who served from 2016 to 2019, had protested peacefully on March 11 to demand their furniture, severance, medical and accommodation allowances.
“The state government and the protesting councillors have agreed to meet in order to resolve the issue of their unpaid allowances. What we are waiting for now is a formal letter to let us know when they will be ready for the meeting.
“As soon as they communicate my office formally, we will meet and discuss,” the commissioner said.
Mr. Daji admitted that the government owed the former councillors, who had served in the 25 local government areas from 2003 to 2019.
He added that after the proposed meeting with the ex-councillors’ leadership, the government would come up with an arrangement on how to pay them.
“I assure you that the government will pay all of them,” Daji said, adding that there was the need to meet with them in order to ascertain the amount owed the councillors by the government.
Garba Umar, the spokesman for the former councillors, said there was a meeting between them and the state government on Monday.
Mr. Umar said the government agreed that the current 25 LGA chairmen should begin payment of the benefits by the end of March.