Between Gov. Ododo and  LGA Workers: The Way Forward 

Otori Ozigi

By Otori Ozigi

For starters, local government areas is constitutionally recognized as the third tier organ of government in the country. Nigeria, today, is made up of 774 local government areas.

Sadly enough, this very important organ of government does not enjoy full Administrative and Financial autonomy, under this democratic dispensation.

The affairs of the councils are under the close control of state governments, which runs the local government areas politically, administratively and financially.

There is no gainsaying that the councils are constitutionally expected to bring infrastructural development closer to the doorsteps of the rural communities in the country.

But ironically, the affairs of these councils are run by the state governments in power.

The only state in Nigeria that is an exception is the Lagos state, where local government councils enjoy a measure of financial and administrative autonomy.

That is why the local government areas in Lagos state are deeply involved in the delivery of dividends of democracy to the rural communities in the state.

They execute various projects that impact on the lives of the rural communities.

In every State in the country, political leadership trajectory of LGA’s are directly under the control of the state government.

Little wonder therefore, that most of the local government areas are either being run by interim caretaker chairmen,contrary to the subsisting Supreme court judgment or by council chairmen and counselors handpicked under the so-called local government elections that are largely a sham and a mockery of democracy tenets.

I’m yet to see the conduct of a credible and free local government elections in any state in the country.

This writeup is provoked by the latest development in Kogi State where the state governor approved the 80 percentage payment of the salaries of council workers across the 21 local government areas in the state.

This is a significant departure from what had become the norm in the state, since the years of the former governor of Kogi State Capt. Idris Ichalla Wada, who started the regime of ridiculous percentage payment of salaries of the council workers.

Now that governor Ododo Ahmed Usman has opened a new chapter in the payment of salaries to council workers,it is the general expectations of the people of Kogi State that he should up the ante, by paying full salaries in the shortest possible time.

Investigation conducted by this journalist, revealed that the monthly allocations from the federation account,FAC,to the local government areas in Kogi State is substantial enough to accommodate full payment of salaries of the local government workers, if the governor so desired by rejigging the priority of the state.

The government of Alhaji Ododo Ahmed Usman is hereby commended for changing the sad narrative of the welfare of Kogi State council workers,accordingly.

True, these group of workers in Kogi State have been exposed to untold hardships and miserable human dignity over the years.

Some of them became corporate begers, while their children could not access good and quality education .

Their unpalatable conditions are well known to all of us across the state.

The time for the overall improvement in their welfare is now.

Let Governor Ododo Ahmed Usman write his name on the sand of time.

Kogi state local government workers deserve to breath too.

Kudos to Governor Ododo Ahmed Usman for righting the wrongs of the past.

May the Good Lord continue to bless you and give you the wisdom and capacity to pilot the affairs of the state to enviable height.

Otori Ozigi, a veteran journalist and PR Consultant, writes from Okene, Kogi State.

09073295000– SMS only.

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