By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has described creation of Local Council Development Areas by state governors in Nigeria as an avenue for “unchallenged pilfering” of local government funds.
NULGE stated this in Ibadan while speaking through its National Vice-President, (South-West), Comrade Oludare Famoofo during a chat with newsmen.
Comrade Famoofo declared that the governors instead of engaging in creation of the new LCDA, ought to be concerned with ways of sustaining the existing councils in their respective states for now, saying, there was no basis for some governors in the country to be creating LCDAs when they cannot even cater for the already existing councils.
“The unnecessary democratisation of local governments by state governors had further exposed the council funds to pilfering. Apart from being unconstitutional, it further exposes the Local Government fund to unchallenged pilfering,” he said.
The NULGE Vice President added that “an example is Osun State, which has created 34 Local Council Development Area (LCDA) when the initial local councils are not yet viable.”
He emphasized that the viability of the existing councils should
be top priority to most governors in the country above the creation of additional Councils that would further compound the inadequate resources.
Comrade Famoofo asked the governors across the country to conduct local government election and replace the caretakers that are allegedly imposed to run the Councils and that the
National Assembly should revisit and ensure the actualization of Local Government Autonomy in Nigeria to allow the people at the grassroot enjoy real dividends of democracy.
He also frowned at the irregularity in the payment of workers’ salary by most states in Nigeria adding that the alleged diversion of the bail-out fund by the governors had worsened the situation.
“NULGE hereby condemn and expresses the unacceptability of the payment of net salary under any guise as the situation in Local
Government has not degenerated to such an abysmal level. We also ask for a strict adherence to the statutory functions of Local Government as guaranteed in the Fourth Schedule of the
Constitution and section 162(7) of the 1999 constitution as amended.
“There should be more transparency and accountability in the
operations of the State Joint Local Government Account. The Union observes that if the allocation of the Local Government is
judiciously administered by its managers, the situation will not be as bad.
“NULGE is aware that funding of primary education was at variance with the 5th schedule section 2(a) of the 1999 constitution (as amended). This has been further interpreted and affirmed by the Supreme Court in it’s Judgment between AG. FG v. AG Abia and 36 others delivered on April 5th, 2002. We demand a full compliance with the constitutional provision on the matter’’.
By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.