The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has called for constitution amendment to guarantee administrative and financial independence of the local government system in the country.
The union urged President Muhammadu Buhari to back his words on the need for the autonomy of the tier of government with action by freeing the local governments from the control of state governors.
The president since assumption to office on May 29, 2015, promised to ensure the autonomy of local governments as the third tier of government in the country.
Also, President Buhari while playing host to the leadership of the Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (ALGON) at the presidential villa in Abuja, recently, assured of his administration’s support for constitutional amendment to that effect.
Speaking on the development in Abuja, NULGE president, Ibrahim Kahleel, expressed the readiness of the organized Labour to collaborate with the President Buhari in his efforts to liberate the local government from the state governors.
“We listened to President Buhari during the visits of ALGON, and I can tell you that we are very happy with what the president said. Labour as a whole, and NULGE in particular are willing and ready to help the president fulfil this promise.
“I can tell you that many things are wrong with our system and the way the local government is being run in Nigeria today. President Buhari has made such promises on several occasions but we have not seen any step being taken in that direction.
“In as much as we support him, we want him to begin the process. Four years is too short in the life of a nation, especially in a country like ours. By the year 2018, serious politicking will begin, and whatever you don’t achieve by then, it may be difficult when another election is approaching.”
Comrade Kahlee, however, challenged President Buhari to put all machinery in motion to free local government so as to service the rural people.
According to the NULGE boss, the overbearing influence of the governors have affected development at local government level, lamenting that against the constitution, political leadership at the local government are now appointed by the state governors rather than elected by the people.
“It is very necessary for the president to also focus on the local government, especially on the allocation to the local government in the fight against corruption. We believe that many of the governors will have questions to answer on how they spend the local government allocations,” he said.