By Joan Nwagwu
The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has called for 300 per cent increment in the minimum wage for workers across all sectors due to the inflation caused by the removal of fuel subsidy.
NULGE National President, Mr Ambali Olatunji, said this in a communique jointly signed by Mr Isah Gambo, General Secretary of the union, at the end of its regular National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Thursday in Abuja.
Olatunji said that the 300 per cent rise was imperative considering the inflation necessitated by the removal of fuel subsidy on local government staff.
Accordingly to him, it is the position of NULGE that there should be 300 per cent rise in the minimum wage for all Local Government workers and other public servants including private sector workers.
He also said that considering the overbearing posture of the state governors on local government which had left it prostrate in the country, there was need for state of emergency to be declared on local government administration.
This, he said would address the infrastructural decay, poverty and state of unemployment across the local governments in the country.
Olatunji also said that government as a matter of urgency should create a special intervention fund to take care of aforementioned social welfare and infrastructural decay through the Ministry of Special Duty.
NUGLE boss said that the proposed fund should be able to carter for projects and programmes in conjunction with local government.
He further called on the federal government to establish a special agency to collaborate with the local government administration in administering the fund for the development and the transformation of the rural areas.
He added that considering the state of insecurity that had affected food production in the country, the local government administration should be assisted in establishing special vigilante to protect farmers.
He, however, acknowledged the effort of federal and state governments to cushion the effect of the economic policies on citizens.
Olatunji also urged the government to utilise the 800 million dollars from World Bank to provide mass transit and other interventions especially in the auto-mobile spare parts companies, to carter for the transport need of the masses.
“This will discourage importation, alternate energy provision (CNG), vocational skill acquisition centers for youth and women,” he said.
He also advised government to give tax rebate/holiday for low income earners and small scale entrepreneurs, as a way of encouraging and sustaining their businesses.
He condemned the attacks on local government secretariats in Plateau, Anambra, Abia and Enugu states by gunmen nothing that they were unwarranted.
Olatunji while calling for urgent re-opening of the 17 local governments in Plateau shut down as a result of alledged political crisis, urged the SGF to expedite action on the scheme of service for the local government.
“It is the conviction of the union that autonomy for local governments remains the best way to return the country to the part of development and growth.
“This will translate to the direct funding of local governments without which no genuine national development can be achieved,” he said.
He also called for the establishment of Local Government Police (Community Police) to address the spate of insecurity across the country.
Olatunji further called for special rural allowances for local government staff to discourage rural-urban migration. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Emmanuel Afonne