By Olawale Ibrahim,Lokoja
Following the federal government approval on Local government autonomy policy, there has been misconception that is causing crisis within the Local government councils across the country.
The Special Adviser in charge of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Kogi State, Engr. Abubakar Ohere has said that the National Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) policy does not give additional money to the account of the Local Government in the state as against claims in some quarters.
The Special Adviser who was apparently reacting to the ongoing protests in some council areas of the state demanding for full salary payment to staff of the 21 local government areas in Kogi State, said those doing so are ignorant of the realities on ground.
He noted that since the NFIU does not know the Staff strength of each local government areas in the states, stressing that there was no how the agency could have directed One hundred per cent payment to all staff of the councils.
Ohere who however described the protests as politically motivated, assuring that the Kogi State government would make the welfare of workers in the state civil service particularly workers in the Local Government areas of the state a priority
The special Adviser cautioned the staffers against pushing for full payment, which he said wasn’t feasible in the face of dwindling allocations from the federation account because of its negative consequences.
“If the workers in the local government areas insist on 100 per cent payment when there is no money to do so, then, the Government would have no option than to retrenchment. This is what Government has been trying to avoid,” Ohere said.
Recall that staff of some Local Government areas in Kogi State has insisted on 100 per cent payment of their salaries, based on the financial autonomy conferred on the councils by the NFIU recently leading to protest in council areas across the state.