NULGE Protests In Oyo, Demand LG Autonomy

NULGE Protests LG Autonomy In Oyo

Oyo State Chapter of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has protested in support of the local government autonomy.

Members of the union took their protest to the State House of Assembly on Tuesday in Ibadan, to draw the attention of the lawmakers to their demands.

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PHOTOS: Plateau Workers Demand Local Government Autonomy

Members of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) held a solidarity march on Thursday for local government autonomy.

The NULGE members took their rally to the State House of Assembly to make their demands known to the lawmakers.

See photos below:

 

 

 

 

PHOTOS: NULGE And NLC Protest, Demand For Local Government Autonomy

The Nigerian Union of Local Government Employee (NULGE) in collaboration with Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Enugu chapter have commenced on a peaceful rally to press home their demand for the Local Government Autonomy.

The protesters will be matching to the House of Assembly where the Speaker is expected to address them.

NULGE Stages South-east Rally In Agitation For Autonomy

SSANU, Police, FUTAMembers of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) have staged a south-east zonal rally in Enugu State.

The union members are asking for political, financial and administrative autonomy of all Local Government Areas (LGAs), for effective delivery of service at the grassroots level.

The demonstrators staged a rally from the Enugu North Local Government Area to the House of Assembly in the state.

NULGE National President, Ibrahim Khaleel, told the Speaker of the Enugu House of Assembly, Honourable Edward Ubosi, that they have come to sensitise the lawmakers on the need for autonomy of the LGAs, and its role in improving the living standard of the people.

“We are here because we want to sensitise and enlighten you on the need to strengthen Local Government administration in Nigeria. This is time to support the grassroots people who cannot move from their clan to the cities, it is the time to show that you are the true representative of your people.

“We are canvassing for this so that the resources for Local Governments hijacked by various State Governments can go to them, to enhance the welfare of their people,” Mr Khaleel said.

The Speaker, who was represented by his deputy, Honourable Donatus Uzogbado, assured the union members of their full support in ensuring that the aim of the rally is fully realised.

“I believe you without any equivocation when you said that if government goes to the grassroots, it will impact more on our people. So I think your agitation is something good and positive, and because you have the masses in mind, the Speaker bid me to tell you that here in the State House of Assembly, we stand with NULGE.

“We stand with the people and they are the ones we represent. We shall do the needful at the right time to ensure that this interaction draws home the needs of our people, so that everybody will be happy,” he said.

Consultant Not Deducting LG Allocation, Kwara Govt. Tells Workers Union

nairaThe Kwara State government has denied claims by local council workers in the state that a consultant was handling their salary payment.

The Personnel Database Development Committee denied the allegation on Friday, a day after the state branch of the National Union of Local Government Workers (NULGE) that the consultant who handled the personnel verification exercise receives 30 per cent of local governments’ monthly allocation.

NULGE had alleged that the state government had appointed consultants to prepare and pay their salaries, claiming that the alleged drawing of 30 per cent out of the already low and inadequate allocations to the local governments would worsen the hardships in the councils.

After the union made the claims, the committee, in a statement by its alternate Chairman, Mr Sola Gold, described NULGEe’s claim as false and misleading, claiming that the consultant engaged for the exercise has no access to LG allocations nor makes unauthorised deductions from workers’ pay.

He said it is was impossible to deduct any money from local government’s already meager allocation, stressing that the state government was rather augmenting their revenue for salary payment.

Mr Gold, who is also Secretary to the State Government, said the only charges on workers’ pay is a monthly bank charge which was agreed with representatives of labour including NULGE, NUT, JNC, TUC and NLC whose officials were members of the committee.

The State government also debunked NULGE’s assertion that the payment of salaries had been contracted to a consultant.

Rather, it clarified that the consultant was only supervising the use of the new personnel database until all claims are verified and a final personnel figure is obtained six months from November 2016 when the report was submitted.

While acknowledging the inconvenience suffered by those whose claims are currently being verified, Mr Gold said all personnel were given eight months to come forward for verification before the exercise ended.

He, however, assured workers that all genuine ones would be verified and paid while urging NULGE to always utilise the channels of communication between it and the government to clarify issues instead of feeding the public with falsehood.

Kwara Local Council Workers Oppose Use Of Consultants To Pay Salaries

FG To Offer 124bn Treasury BillsLocal Government (LG) workers under the auspices of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Kwara State have kicked against alleged appointment of consultants to prepare and pay their salaries.

NULGE secretary in the state, Mr Afolabi Abayomi, told reporters in Ilorin that each of the 16 local government councils had a treasurer in charge of its accounts department with full complement of accounting staff that had been preparing the salaries since the creation of the councils.

Mr Abayomi wondered why the state government would go ahead to engage consultants to pay salaries of the workers in the local governments, rendering LG workers employed for the purpose redundant.

A Way Of Siphoning Money

He lamented that these consultants would be drawing 30 per cent out of the already low and inadequate allocations to the local governments thereby worsening the hardships in the councils.

“Appointing consultants to prepare and pay local government workers is illegal and unconstitutional, local governments have enough staff to prepare their workers’ salaries.

“It is a way of siphoning money from the already dwindling local governments’ allocations.

“Imagining the consultants receiving 30 per cent from the council’s allocations,” Abayomi said.

The NULGE scribe further appealed to the state government to revert the appointment of consultants and let the workers in the accounts department continue to prepare salaries of LG staff.

Mr Abayomi said the one billion Naira that the state government gave LGs out of the five billion Naira it received from the Federal Government was not enough to pay the November salaries of workers in the local governments.

He pointed out that the money was to augment the November salaries with 600 million Naira, adding that the remaining 400 million Naira would be added to December salaries.

“Monthly wage bill in the local governments is 2.2 billion Naira which covers State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), local government staff, pensioners and Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) teachers’ salaries.

“To be given only one billion Naira to meet all these responsibilities with all the wide publicity given it was insincere,” he insisted.

He asked the state government to abide by the instruction of the Federal Government and the State House of Assembly to use the five billion Naira to offset backlog of salaries to workers.

He also advised the state government to grant autonomy to local governments to run their fiscal activities as they deemed fit.

According to him, the Joint Accounts Allocation Committee (JAAC), should be scrapped to allow local government councils handle their finances as the third tier of government.

Reacting to the demand by the local council workers, Dr. Muideen Akorede, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media and Communications to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, said the government gave the 16 local governments one billion to pay November salaries.

Dr. Akorede said the government gave 800 million Naira to pay salaries of workers in the state-owned tertiary institutions.

Local Govt. Employees Seek New Revenue Sharing Formula

Naira, Market, dollarThe National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), has called for a new revenue sharing formula that will give the states and the councils more percentage than the government.

The union warned that it would no longer tolerate situations where the Federal Government takes a larger chunk of the revenue and leaves little or nothing for the states and the local governments.

According to the NULGE leadership, the practice before now has been the deliberate withholding of council funds under the pretense that it is being saved for the rainy day.

These were some of the views expressed at the 2016 National Delegate Conference of NULGE in Akure, the Ondo state capital.

Nigeria’s current sharing formula gives Federal Government 52.68%, States 26.72% and Local Government Councils 20.60%.

In April, Nigerian governors asked for a review of the revenue sharing formula.

The governors insisted that what comes to them should be increased, stressing that states were the custodians of the natural resources in Nigeria.

The Chairman of the governors’ forum, Mr Abdullaziz Yari, conveyed the governors’ demand to reporters after their meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on the way out of the economic crunch the states were facing.

This demand by local government employees is coming at a period that Nigeria’s economy is in recession.

Kwara Local Council Employees Accuse Govt. Of Withholding Salary

NULGE, Kwara, SalariesThere seems to still be no agreement between the Kwara State chapter of the National Union Of Local Government Employees, NULGE, and the state government over issues concerning non-payment of salaries.

The workers are insisting that the government has withheld nearly Four billion Naira, meant for the settlement of salary arrears, a claim that the government has dismissed as false.

The union is therefore threatening to sue the Federal Government for alleged interference in the funds of the Local Government.

In the last few months, workers in the 16 Local Government Areas (LGA) under the aegis of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) have been in disagreement with the government over the irregular payment, as well as over plans to employ a consultant for payment of the salaries.

Commissioner of Finance, Abdulateef Okandeji, explained that a little above one billion Naira was allocated to the 16 LGAs of the state, of which 75% had been released.

A spokesman for the Kwara Governor, Muideen Akoorede, denied the existence of any polity funds from the government.

He said the Federal Ministry of Finance saw the hardships in states and decided to support the capacity of states to implement their budgets

“Nowhere in their meetings with the Federal government was it mentioned that the money was to go into payment of Local Government workers salaries,” he added.

Kwara Govt, Labour Disagree Over Consultant Involvement In Salaries Payment

kwara, labour leaders, salary payment Government and labour leaders in Kwara State are in disagreement over alleged plans by the government to employ a consultant for the payment of local government workers’ salaries.

There seems to be no end in sight for the lingering crisis between the workers of the 16 local government areas in Kwara State, as the chairmen of the councils and the labour leaders accuse the State Government of planning to employ a consultant for the payment of their salaries.

While the labour leaders described the proposed plan of the government as an infringement on the independence of the local governments, the State government on its part, described the allegation as untrue and merely a figment of the imagination of the labour leaders as there was only a consultant for the workers verification exercise.

Irregular Payment Of Salaries

In the past four months, workers of the 16 local government areas under the aegis of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) have been at loggerheads with the chairmen of the council over the irregular payment of their salaries.

This issue led to a protest at the Government House where the State government tried to resolve the issue between the labour and the local government areas by paying one month full salary.

However, the State government who was then the peacemaker is now being accused by the officials of the workers who said the State government had concluded plans to employ a consultant for the payment of the workers’ salaries.

On the alleged plan to hand over the payment of salaries to a consultant, the secretary of (NULGE) pointed out it would further cripple the activities of the third tier of the government.

He also added that the chairmen of the council would soon sign a memorandum of understanding with the State government to that effect.

In reaction to this, the Chairman of Ilorin East Local Government who is also the state chairman of Association of Local Governments in Nigeria, Lateef Okandeji, denied ever signing any agreement to that effect.

He said that the the Joint Account Allocation Committee was the highest decision body and no issue was discussed.

The State Commissioner for Information, Mahmud Ajeigbe, also denied the accusation and urged the labour leaders to always verify issues before reacting.

He, however, agreed to contracting the verification exercise of workers in the state in order to fish out ghost workers but not for the payment of workers’ salaries as being insinuated.

Despite the ongoing rage by both parties, the labour leaders and State government are expected to amicably settle the issue for the benefit of the workers.

Kwara LG Workers Protest Non-Payment Of Salary Arrears

Kwara WorkersStaff of local governments in Kwara State under the aegis of Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) have been protesting the nonpayment of salary arrears.

The workers took to the streets in Ilorin, the state capital to express their grievances over what they called non-payment of their six months’ salary arrears and diversion of the allocation meant for them to offset the teachers’ salary.

The protest to Government House began as they moved from the Labour House, Police headquarters before eventually arriving at the gate of the seat of power.

The Police had tried in vain to persuade them to shelve the idea since they did not have Police permit.

Some of the workers who looked tired and worn out especially because it was during the period of fasting, laid down and sat in front of the gate as the security operatives were on hand to maintain law and order.

The State President of the NULGE, Salihu Yusuf, said that they were being owed six months’ salary arrears.

He added that since there was improvement in the last allocations from the federation account, they wondered how the government could divert the money to pay the teachers.

In his comment, the State Secretary of NULGE, Abayomi Afolabi, enumerated various challenges being faced and several efforts made to let government see reasons without success.

He said that the local councils have becomes tools being used to siphon money by the governors in the country.

Efforts of the state government to pacify the workers with the presence of the Secretary to the State Government did not yield as they refused to listen to him but insisted on meeting the Governor.

They were later dispersed by security operatives.

Reacting, the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Governor, Dr Muideen Akorede, explained that the decision to offset the salary arrears of the teachers from the last federal allocation was a joint decision at the joint allocation committee.

Dr Akorede said that he wondered why the workers would turn around to involve in protest when it was the Governor who invited their leadership for meeting.

On the issue of nonpayment of salaries, he said that it was a national issue and not peculiar to Kwara State.

He added that since the government has been transparent in disclosing what comes in monthly, efforts would be made to settle their salaries in conjunction with the local government chairmen who are their employers.

There were reports that the leadership of labour unions which include NLC, TUC and NULGE have agreed to meet with the Governor on how best to put an end to non-payment of salaries of local government workers since the local government chairmen are finding it difficult to pay the workers.

Benue State Moves To Settle Salary Arrears

Benue, Samuel OrtomThe Benue State Government and the joint labour unions in the state have agreed to further borrow billions of Naira to clear unpaid workers’ salaries in the state.

The parties arrived at the decision on Wednesday at a town hall meeting organised by Governor Samuel Ortom to intimate the unions of the harsh economic realities facing the state and to take advantage of the window created by the Federal Government for another round of bailout package.

Civil servants in Benue State are taking to the streets, establishing small scale businesses and farming activities following months of unpaid wages and the directive to take advantage of the work free Fridays in the state.

The ‘food basket of the nation’, as the state is referred to, which accounts for 30% of Nigeria’s food production capacity, is now looking inward on how to generate income to manage state affairs, including payment of salaries to the workforce.

The President of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) Benue State Chapter, Terungwa Igbe, giving his opinion on the crisis of ghost workers and illegal manipulation of the payroll system, said the government had more pressing concerns to address than fishing for ghost workers.

Governor Ortom, who inherited a five-month salary arrears upon assumption of office, has been able to avoid industrial crisis with labour, by opening up the books on the receipts from the Federation Account.

Most Nigerian states are facing difficulties in paying its workers’ salaries caused by drop in the price of crude and subsequent reduction in daily output.

Resurgence of militant activities in the Niger Delta region of the nation, with oil facilities blown up, has further depleted the nation’s revenue, with the nation producing less than a million barrels per day.

Critics have said that the earlier the country’s economy improves, the better for many state Chief Executives who, since taking over as governors in May 2015, have been drawn in labour related crisis over their inability to pay worker’s wages.

Kogi Civil Servants Protest Non-release Of Bailout Funds

kogi state governor, wadaCivil servants in Kogi State have protested against the non-release of 50.8 billion Naira bailout funds approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to offset backlog of salaries owed them.

The civil servants, however, shut their offices and boycotted work on Wednesday.

The development was in compliance with a directive jointly issued to the civil servants by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

While briefing reporters, the NLC Chairman, Comrade Onuh Edoka, said that the public servants were made to boycott work to register their grievances to President Muhammadu Buhari over the non release of the fund by the CBN on account of political wrangling by politicians in the state.

He pointed out that the CBN had no reason to hold on to the bailout fund despite the requirements made by the state.

In his remark, the State Chairman of the NUT, Comrade Abdullahi Suleiman, lamented that the hope of basic education staff in the state was dashed, going by the present development.

The President of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in the state, Comrade Tom Abutu, nonetheless, also expressed concern that local government workers in the state were being owed upward of 18 months salaries.

Contrary to speculations by some persons that Kogi State did not apply for the fund, Governor Idris Wada, who spoke to Channels Television, said that the state was one of the first states that applied and that all requested document had been submitted, but the fund was yet to be released.

In the meantime, labour leaders in the state had called on federal and state authorities to help resolve the situation.