By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Piqued by the unending cases of ghost names on the nominal roll of Local Government Councils in Niger State, the new leadership of the Nigeria Union of Local Governments Employees, (NULGE) has offered to partner with the state’s government to checkmate the development and end nepotism, corruption and fraudulence in local government administration in his state.
President of the union in the state, Comrade Idris Abdul Kareem Lafene said the union would partner with the state’s Ministry of Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs to work out possible ways to reduce to the barest minimum the cases of phantom workers on the pay roll of councils in the state.
Comrade Lafeni noted that despite the fact that local government employees were retiring annually, while some have exited the service on account of death or transfers, the monthly wage bills from council areas have remained unchanged year after year.
Lafeni said the leadership of the union would do a compilation of the names of all deceased staff and those who had retired from the service for onward submission to the Ministry of Local Government for scrutiny and update.
He described as worrisome the continuous bogus names on the nominal roll as workforce of Local Government adding that it was obvious that something was definitely fishy somewhere.
The Niger NULGE chieftain argued further that it was injurious for lean resources meant for the running of council areas to be dissipated on none existing workers or siphoned under questionable claims.
Comrade Lafeni also spoke on the recent financial autonomy granted local government councils in the country noting that under the erstwhile joint account system, state governments were withholding 60% of the allocations meant for local government areas in each state of the country under the pretext of assisting the councils.
He condemned the so-called joint account system where state governments were supposed to contribute 10% of their internally generated revenue monthly for the development of the council areas but hoodwinked council areas by taking a huge chunk of the councils’ allocations instead.
The state NULGE President argued that without the so-called joint account, council areas would do better for the people at the grassroots.
“We don’t need the joint account system. It has been subverted and abused by state governments. Without the joint account system, we would better for our people. Local government councils would perform to the expectations of the people at the grassroots” he boasted.
“Under joint account system, state governments take 60% of the allocations meant for local governments to assist themselves” he alleged further.
He assured that the new leadership of the union would work to support the growth and development of the third tier in the state.