In appreciation of his support for the growth and development of Local Government Administration in Nigeria, the Africa Municipal and Local Government Unions Network (AMALGUN) has decorated Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State with the Grand Patron of their continental body
Governor Uduaghan was the only Governor so honoured by the body which is made up of Local Government Workers Unions in English and French speaking African Countries, at the launch of the Nigeria branch of the organization in Abuja at the weekend.
The ceremony attended by Local Government Workers Unions delegation from South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Seirra-leon and Azania, was witnessed by the Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal and the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar among other dignitaries.
The Africa Municipal and Local Government Unions Grand Patron award was presented to Governor Uduaghan by the body’s Chairman who is also the General Secretary of the South Africa Municipal Workers Union, Comrade Walter Theledi.
Speaking at the event, the National President, Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, (NULGE), Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel explained that Governor Uduaghan was honoured for supporting good governance at the Local Government level by not tampering with their allocation as well as for the provision of six hundred million naira monthly bail out to Local Government Councils to pay Primary Schools Teachers salaries.
He appealed to other Governors to emulate Governor Uduaghan while pledging the co-operation of Local Government Workers to the State Government.
Comrade Khaleel appealed to the National Assembly to intervene in the crises between Local Government Workers in Ekiti and Plateau States with their states Government which have not paid their council workers for over six months.
In his remarks, Governor Uduaghan thanked the Africa Municipal and Local Government Unions Network for the gesture.
He appealed to the Federal Government to increase the monthly revenue allocated to Local Governments from the federation Account or remove the responsibility of paying Primary Schools Teachers salaries from the councils.
He said that Primary Schools Teachers salaries took up to seventy-five percent of Local Government Council’s revenue allocation, leaving the Councils with little or no money to meet other development challenges adding that the development has forced the State Government to provide six hundred million naira monthly bail-out fund for the payment of their salaries.
Governor Uduaghan advised critics of Local Government Councils to first understand that inadequate funds had hampered fast development in the Councils.
He dedicated the Honour to Local Government Workers in the State and pledged support for their welfare and the growth of Local Government Unions.
While launching the Africa Municipal and Local Government Unions Network, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal pledged the National Assembly’s support for Local Government’s financial independence from State Governments adding that a bill to that effect would soon be passed.
He said the National Assembly would put a clause in the law to deny revenue allocation to Local Governments councils whose officials were not elected.
Honourable Tambuwal commended Governor Uduaghan for his efforts in developing Local Governments in the State, while congratulating him on the honour.
In his goodwill message, Nigeria Labour Congress, President, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar described the Grand Patron of the Council Workers gesture on Governor Uduaghan as well deserved.
Comrade Omar called on the Federal Government not to tie Local Government revenue allocation to that of State Governments to expedite development.