Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger has inaugurated a seven-man committee to ascertain how the 12 local governments used N4.4 billion bailout fund meant for the payment of salary arrears.
The committee, headed by Mr Daniel Clifford, a former Permanent Secretary, is particularly expected to find out why the local government were still owing salaries, in spite of the bailout fund given by the state government.
Bello, while inaugurating the committee, said that it would also investigate alleged financial recklessness and impunity exhibited by council officials, which is believed to be responsible for the sufferings of workers.
He accused the officials of behaving irresponsibly, but commended some of them for agreeing to commence the payment of workers’ salaries after government’s warnings.
“The committee should thoroughly investigate how the funds were disbursed because we have realised that some council chairmen diverted the money to personal use.
“This is unacceptable; we will get to the root of the matter and any chairman found wanting will be made to face the law,” he said.
The committee has one month within which to submit its report.