By Moses John
Following worries by the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) that local governments lacked the capacity to pay its members if granted autonomy, the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has advocated that the payment of teachers’ salaries should be the responsibility of both federal and state governments.
National President of NULGE, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel, who said this at the North-east zonal rally in Jalingo, Taraba state, at the weekend, added that “this will allay fears from the teachers who are campaigning against LG autonomy.”
“We also recommend that the payment of primary school teachers’ salaries should be the sole responsibility of the federal and state governments. Primary Education is a subsidiary function as per provision of the 4th Schedule of the 1999 Constitution and the April 2002 Supreme judgement on funding of Primary Education.
“Local governments shall retain functional and fiscal relations with the higher tiers of government including among others: State allocation of 20% of its internally generated revenue to the local governments within the state.
“Establish a joint Planning Board through a law enacted by the House of Assembly to require each local government in the state participate in the economic planning and development of the local government areas.”
Khaleel also commended members of the union for corporation shown during the rally in support of freedom for local government and urged them to sustain the tempo even after the zonal rallies.
“We started this campaign on March 15, 2017 in the North-central City of Lafia, capital of Nasarawa state, and since then, we have taken the campaigns through Calabar, in the South-south, Lagos in the South-west, Kano in the North-west and Enugu in the North-east. Today, that train has moved to Jalingo, the capital of Taraba state; “Nature’s Gift to the Nation,” as the state is fondly called, with the same message of freedom and autonomy for Local Governments and our people.
“We are encouraged by the massive support from you and the Nigerian masses who actively marched with us in our last four national rallies. Today, the crowd of supporters for local government autonomy continues to grow. We strongly believe that as this campaign is gradually coming to its climax, supporters for Local Government Autonomy continue to grow.”