Kogi Screening: 2,880 Local Govt Staff Remain Uncleared – NULGE

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The chairman, Kogi state chapter of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Comrade Tade Adeyemi has appealed to the state government to set up a committee to ascertain and compute the total arrears of salaries owed local government staff.

Adeyemi made this known at the second annual lecture organised by the Policy and Lawmakers Magazine in commemoration of NULGE’s 40th anniversary in Lokoja.

The union leader called for the implementation of 2014-2015 promotion.

Comrade Adeyemi stated that through the efforts of NULGE, 25,192 workers were cleared during the screening exercise, leaving behind 2,880 yet to be cleared.

He called on the state government to lift the ban on the office of the Directors of Personnel Management (DPM) in line with the scheme of service owing to it adverse effect on career progression.

The NULGE Chairman appealed to government to allow each local government pay their salaries according to the allocation received, release of impress to head of local government administrators and Treasurers and the return of cooperative society system abolished by the present administration.

Delivering a paper at the annual lecture, a former council chairman in Kogi  State, Barr. John Ayewole said the local government autonomy is being opposed by state governors who are afraid of losing control over council funds.
Ayewole said the governors have taken both the financial and administrative workings of council areas to enriche themselves.
The legal luminary however said unless autonomy is granted to the third tiers of government, the economic reform of the country will remained a mirage.
“Local government reform is key to Nigeria economic revival. There is the dire need to open up the long negllected rural areas. That is the only way rural – urban migration can be curtailed.
“By design, the scope of local governments area are smaller, cheaper to maintain but effective in reach. There is hardly any part of Nigeria that God has not blessed with resources that can be turned to money spinners.
“However, given the vast and diverse nature of the nation, it may be difficult if not impossible for either the Federal or state governments to harness the national resources as well as mobilize the generality of Nigerians for development. Herein lies the wisdom and the need for effective local government system.
“The bane of the problem facing our nation in this regard has never been lack of knowledge about local government, it is the absence of relevance or how to make it work. Rather, it is the absence of political will to make the system work.
“The failure of will in this respect is clearly traceable to the reluctance of state governors to grant financial muscle to the local government to perform. The state appears threatened by local government autonomy.
“There is no doubt that local government councils represent the engine of growth and economic development in the nation. A liberated local government council will open up the tremendous potentials of the rural areas. Basic infrastructures like roads, culverts and modest bridges which local government councils can provide will connect wasting agricultural products in rural areas to end users in the urban areas. Service renders would be attracted to all nooks and crannies of the nation. This will not only open up the whole country for economic development, it will also in a defining sense, halt the present day rural/urban drift,” he said.
Publisher of the Policy and Lawmakers Magazine magazine, Prince Friday Ogungbemi noted that local government level is the closest to every Nigerian but it is the most neglected and abused.

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