13th May, 2019
Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has commended the Federal Government for introducing financial guidelines for local government areas in the country by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).
The union said it would ensure transparency and grassroots development.
Comrade Bola Taiwo, the State Chairman of NULGE in Ondo, stated this during a media briefing on Monday in Akure.
The Federal Government had ordered that federal allocations to LGAs be disbursed directly to their respective bank accounts starting from June 2019.
Taiwo said that the move was laudable because local government autonomy had been a priority of the union for long.
“We are happy because this is a dream come true. We have been yearning and agitating for this because autonomy to local government areas has been our priority,” he said.
According to him, the new guidelines serve as a mechanism that will safeguard, protect and allow for transparency in the local government joint account management.
“Joint account is a constitutional matter,” he said.
He noted that the union would train and educate its members to look into activities of each local government so that there would not be any violation of the guidelines.
“It is said that anybody that violates this rule will be dealt with and if there are violations the union must cry out immediately,”he said.
He applauded the state government for not diverting money meant for local councils in the state.
“I want to say it categorically that Ondo State governor does not tamper with local government money, rather he gives local councils 100 per cent freedom to deliberate on their money.
“So, he does not indulge in anything that is against rules and regulations,” he stated.
He, therefore, urged state governments operating caretaker committees as administrators to desist, saying such step was not a true representation of the people at the grassroots.
“Election at local government area is another issue that must be taken seriously by state governments.
“Setting up caretakers committees to man affairs of local council is another means of siphoning money because the committee members are not elected but chosen by governors whom they are accountable to.
“Therefore, all caretaker committees should be sacked,” he said.
Taiwo also cautioned Ondo State Government to take review its plans of creating local council development areas, saying funds to sustain them might be a great challenge.