Ilorin – Mr Yusuf Saliu, President of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Kwara Chapter, has cautioned state governments over interferences on activities of local government council in the country.
Saliu made the disclosure in Ilorin on Wednesday while speaking on the 40th anniversary of the union in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The president said that the local government system had been burdened by undue interference of state governments.
The union leader alleged that the challenge had lingered since the advent of democracy in 1999 when local governments were put in the grip of state governments.
“What gives states the leeway to do this is the lingering contradictions contained in Sections 7 of the Constitution, that arm-twists the autonomy of local governments, putting it under the state contrary to Section 14 (4), 13, 1 (1).
“The provision of Section 162 in the 1999 Constitution, overburdens the Joint Account Allocation Committee by 100 percent funding of Primary Education from Local Government allocations,” he said.
According to him, the situation was contrary to participatory role as stipulated in the constitution.
He further said that funding of Junior Secondary School teachers’ salaries from local government allocations in Kwara through JAAC, was particularly illegal and unconstitutional.
Saliu however, identified other challenges facing the union in the state to include: encroachment on constitutional responsibilities of local governments by the state government agencies like the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS).
Others are Non appointment of local government workers as permanent secretaries, creation of Local Government Loans Board, arrears of salaries and non implementations of 2016/2018 promotion financial benefits among others.
The union leader however, commended the State House of Assembly for voting in favour of Local government autonomy, during the process for the alteration of the 1999 constitution.
He also hailed the National Assembly for passing into law, the Local Government Autonomy in Nigeria.