By Francis Sardauna in Katsina
The National President of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) Ibrahim Khaleel has called for the annulment of the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) and State Local Government Joint Account over what he described as unfettered manipulations of the systems by the state governors.
This is even as he advocated the recognition of the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) and the office of the Auditor General for local governments in the country’s constitution, saying the call if implemented would guarantee accountability and transparency in the management of the local government system.
Khaleel, who disclosed this in Katsina Thursday in an event to mark the 40th anniversary of the Union, held at the NULGE Secretariat Katsina, said the abolition of SIEC is paramount because of its “unfettered manipulations” by the state governors, adding that: “INEC should conduct all elections in the country.”
According to Khaleel, “It is our position that the State Local Government Joint Account should also be abolished so that allocations due to the local governments will be paid directly to them without interference from the state governments.
“I call on all members particularly the critical stakeholders to see this clarion call as necessary and to give the much needed support for the actualisation of local government autonomy because it is the only panacea for effective, virile and strong local government system.”
The national president, represented by the Katsina State President Aliyu Haruna Kankara, reiterated that section 7 of the constitution guarantees the existence of local government system in Nigeria, saying however that the section needs to be overhauled to give local government full executive and legislative powers to discharge its duties effectively.
On his part, the state Chairman of Local Government Service Commission, Alhaji Maigari Danjuma, urged NULGE officials not to compromise standards but work assiduously in order to complement both federal and state governments’ efforts in improving the welfare of local government workforce.
Also speaking, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Tanimu Saulawa, while commending the state Governor Aminu Bello Masari for prompt payment of workers’ salary, admonished the governor to pay the outstanding gratuities of retirees to assuage their sufferings.