Taraba State Governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku has challenged Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees NULGE, to reorganise themselves before seeking for any form of autonomy.
Governor Darius Ishaku said this Yesterday when National Officials of NULGE led by its National President, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleed paid him a courtesy visit to intimate him on the ongoing campaign aimed at granting Local Government Administration in the country total autonomy.
Darius Ishaku said it is imperative for the leadership of the Union to have a sincere flashback with a view to knowing what actually went wrong and which eventually gave birth to the establishment of the joint account between state and local governments, explaining that, it is only when the Union is able to identify such flaws and work assiduously towards having them corrected, then the agitation will be able to see the light of the day.
He told the NULGE leadership that he is on the same page with the Union, buttressing that their agitation is a genuine one and that they need to come together to sanitise the system in a manner that all the corrupt practices that gave rise to the change in status quo would be corrected in its totality.
The Governor maintained that, the ongoing Biometrics in the local government system across the 16 local councils would be further reinvigorated until the accurate number of staff in each council is verified and certified with a view to coming up with an authentic list so that each worker would be paid his right salary.
Governor Ishaku further said, Taraba State is a civil service state and any delay in the payment of salary will affect the entire state, explaining that every month, he has to augment local government for them to be able to meet their monthly salaries.
He stressed that, it is important for NULGE to collaborate with State governments so that collectively the ills being perpetrated will be nipped permanently adding that, the better the local councils, the much easier for state governments to function.
Responding on the issue of salary circular, Darius Ishaku stated that already effort is being made to regularly make available to all the councils their monthly salary circular and appreciated the president for recognising his efforts in the areas of prompt payment of salaries in the state, the massive water works, which is expected to Carter for Jalingo water need from now to 2035, roads construction and the establishment of Greenhouse which is to meet the vegetable needs of the state and beyond, including women and Youths Empowerment which is being vigorously pursuit with the graduation of over 335 women and Youths in varieties of skills.Earlier in his speech, the National President of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees NULGE, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleed who also doubles as the National Treasurer of Nigeria Labour Congress, said the Union is in Jalingo for a zonal rally of the Union to press home for the total demand of the complete autonomy for local government councils in Nigeria.
Ibrahim Khaleed told the Governor that they are in Jalingo on advocacy visit, explaining that, the Union wants to partner with Taraba state government to be part of the advocacy and sensitisation campaign currently going on in the country to demand for Local Councils autonomy.
He explained that the local government councils are enmeshed in lots of problems because of lack of autonomy, stressing that, the Union is determined to work towards returning autonomy to all the local councils in Nigeria.
The National President of NULGE enumerated their advocacy to include Democratic autonomy, political autonomy and financial autonomy as well as the abolition of state Independent Electoral Commissions, SIECs, so that the local councils elections would be conducted by the Independent Electoral Commission INEC.
Other areas mentioned by the NULGE leadership as captured in the National President’s speech included the recognition of local government councils as a third tier of Government and the implementation of supreme Court judgement for the conduct of Local Government election and not appointments by State governments.
Comrade Ibrahim Khaleed appreciated the State Governor over the prompt payment of salaries, but however pointed out that, there are still two months outstanding.
He said though the two months were not incurred by the present Administration, he however pleaded for understanding from the State Government over the issue.
He also pleaded for the prompt issuance of salary circular and commended the state government for embarking on lives touching projects such as, roads, Greenhouse and Empowerment programmes among others.