By evangelist.com.ng edition, Tuesday July 25, 2023.
The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on local government administration in order to stem the tide of infrastructure decay, poverty, unemployment and rural-urban migration.
The National President of NULGE, Comrade Ambali Akeem Olatunji, made this call at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union, held in Abuja.
Olatunji also asked the government to create a special intervention fund to enable reversal of the state of local governments across the Nigeria.
“Considering the pathetic situation of the effect of the overbearing posture of state governors on local government, which has left it prostrate in Nigeria, a state of emergency should be declared on local government administration to stipulate the revival of the infrastructural decay, poverty and state of unemployment across the local government in Nigeria.
“The government should as a matter of urgency, create a special intervention fund to take care of the aforementioned social welfare and infrastructural decay through the Ministry of Special Duties to directly fund the project and programmes in conjunction with local government.
“Government should establish a special agency(ies) to administer the special fund for the development and the transformation of the rural areas in conjunction with the local government,” the union said.
NULGE also demanded that local government workers be paid a special rural allowance to encourage them to serve and sustain development in the rural areas and discourage the tide of rural-urban migration.
The NULGE president said, “Considering the state of insecurity, which has affected food production in the country, the local government should be funded to establish special vigilante to protect farmers to be able to go about their legitimate farming activities without fear of attack.
“The union wishes to advise that government should declare tax rebate/holiday for low income earners and small scale entrepreneurs as a way of encouragement to sustain their businesses.
“The union commends President Bola Tinubu for his declaration on local government for being the bedrock of national development that needed urgent attention. We urge the president to match his words with action.”
“It is the conviction of the union that local government autonomy remains the best way to return the country to the part of development and growth as this will translate to the direct funding of local government without which no genuine national development can be achieved.
“The union recommends the establishment of local government police (community police) to address the spate of insecurity across the country.”
Comrade Olatunji added “The union calls on the Ministry of Labour and Employment and the National Council for Establishment to establish a joint negotiating council to comprise/accommodate NULGE, NUT and NASU who are major unions in the public sector. The Secretary to the Federal Government should expedite and prioritise approval for the scheme of service for local government.
“The union observed and condemns a situation that whenever there is crisis of any sort in any part of the country, the Local Government Secretariat is a regular target for attack as recently witnessed in Plateau, Anambra, Abia and Enugu States. NEC calls on the government to urgently re-open the 17 local governments in Plateau State, which were shut down as a result of crisis so that the councils can resume its administrative functions.”