Abioye Olarewaju, Ilorin
Kwara State Chapter of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) yesterday threw its weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s quest to grant local government councils autonomy in all ramifications. The State Secretary of the Association, Comrade Abayomi Afolabi made this known in an interview with newsmen in Ilorin. Afolabi said granting LGA autonomy would enable the Councils to manage their resources more efficiently and pay staff and teachers salaries as at when due.
He attributed crises and LGAs non-performance to the establishment of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and the State Joint State and LGAs Joint Account Edicts which transferred management of LGA affairs to the state. The NULGE Scribe noted that federal allocations to the councils were based on data generated on the staff strength, infrastructural and classrooms needs of Primary and Junior Secondary schools in each local government.
He lamented that contrary to the spirit and letter of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution on LGA finances, states have usurped the councils and its education agency’s powers through Joint Account and SUBEB Edicts. Afolabi said that the management of SUBEB said to be alien body to the 1999 Constitution and officials of the State government were those dictating and determining the fate of the councils including their staff and teachers. He said the local governments’ employees in Kwara were being owed about three months’ salaries because it is the State organs that determine the manner of disbursement of federal allocations to the councils and SUBEB.