By G9ija

Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State has faulted salary arrears claims made by the beneficiaries of S-power programme, insisting that no worker in the state civil service is owed salaries.

Consequently, the governor said last month, a whooping sum of N103 million was released to the beneficiaries through the salary system.

The S-power scheme is the job creation programme of Governor Masari aimed at addressing the problem of unemployment among the teeming graduates as well as to avert the acute shortage of teaching staff in the state-owned public schools.

Masari, through the social intervention programme, has so far employed 7,500 graduates who are currently teaching in both primary and secondary schools across the three senatorial zones of the state.

However, the beneficiaries who teach in secondary schools, in a statement issued to reporters weekend, have threatened to embark on industrial action if the state government fails to pay them their five months’ salary arrears within seven days.

They also directed all their zonal and local government coordinators across the 34 local government areas of the state to commence strike on October 7th, 2019 to press home their demand.

But Masari, in an exclusive interview with reporters Saturday, denied owing the S-power beneficiaries salaries, adding that their allegation is an attempt to tarnish his administration’s efforts at revamping the education sector in the state.

He said: “It is not true. We are paying them through salary system. Even the last one, we paid them N103 million through salary system.

“The information they gave you is not true. We are paying them through salary system because I don’t want any failure with regard to payment of salaries.”

According to the governor, those with NCE certificate and are working in the local government system receive their salaries through the local governments’ joint account.

“And every month, I approve it so that it goes with the salary. They are not employees, so if they go on strike, we will pay them, change them and take new ones. We have a desk officer in the officer of the Secretary to the State Government who is responsible for this,” Masari explained.