The speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon. Edward Ubosi, has assured local government workers in the state and the Nigeria Labour Congress that he will ensure the passage of the Local Government Autonomy Bill in the State House of Assembly.
He gave the assurance recently while addressing local government workers and NLC members in the state who came to the House of Assembly complex on a peaceful demonstration to agitate for local government autonomy.
“Anything about the local government system; many of you would know that I am part of it because I was a councillor when we used to go to Abuja to collect our allocation. As a former local government chairman, I’m aware of everything about local government,” the speaker said.
Ubosi said he was in Abuja recently where he made presentations for House of assembly and local government autonomy. “We cannot be seeking our own autonomy and be a stumbling block to other people’s own. If we help others to get theirs God will help us to get ours,” he said, adding, “if you ask me to vote for local government autonomy I will vote for it. I want to assure you that local government autonomy is assured. We will give it a human face.”
The speaker told the workers that the state government had solved twenty five out of the twenty six issues they resolved to settle in the state civil service. He further disclosed that the state government had paid all the arrears of workers’ salaries and will commence the payment of leave allowances from September 25.
In his speech, the national president of the National Union of Local Government Employees, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel who was represented by the national treasurer and chairman of Ogun State chapter, Comrade Ambas Akeen, said the freedom NULGE desires is in financial as well as political and administrative terms.
He explained that given their role as service centres local governments used to oversee security, healthcare and other development issues at the grassroots, noting that councils will be able to pay salaries, meet teachers’ needs and carry out development at the grassroots once autonomy is granted. He also canvassed the scrapping of the Joint Allocation Committee and State Electoral Commissions.
The rally with the theme, “Demand Local Government Autonomy, Financial, Administrative and Political,” was organized by the Enugu State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees in collaboration with the Nigerian Labour Congress, Enugu State chapter.