By Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki
The Ebonyi State government has stated categorically that it is against local government autonomy, basing its reason on the fact that it would plunge workers in some local councils of the state into economic hardship, as seven council areas in the state consistently run into deficit before their monthly allocations.
Addressing local government employees at the Government House gate, Abakaliki during a protest, Ebonyi State Head of Service, Chamberlin Nwele, noted that some local councils in the state have peculiar issues of inability to pay workers salaries, stressing that it would not be in their best interest to seek autonomy in the prevailing economic situation.
He noted that without the peculiar way with which the state government is handling issues of workers’ salaries in the state, workers in the affected council areas would not have been receiving salaries.
â€œToday what is trending in Nigeria is true federalism which means that every federating unit is at liberty to work out things the way it will suit it. Over 50 per cent of the local governments cannot pay salaries of their workers.
â€œAbout seven out of the 13 local government areas in Ebonyi State cannot pay salaries of workers in the system. Should we have local government autonomy? Today, salaries are paid on or before 15th of every month in the state at both the state and local government because of the governorâ€™s ingenuity in managing the lean resources of the state.