NULGE kicks against bill to abolish LG as third tier of govt

The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), on Wednesday, kicked against the bill sponsored by Hon Soloman Bob in the National Assembly to abolish the local government as the third tier of government in Nigeria.

The union has also appealed to all parliamentarians and stakeholders to see the local governments as the catalyst for societal development and give it full autonomy in line with the aspiration of the founding fathers.

Speaking at the inauguration of new national officers of NULGE, led by the newly elected National President, Comrade Ambali Akeem Olatunji, at the Labour House, Abuja, the out-going National President of the Union, Comrade Ahmed Labbo, called on all progressive members of the National Assembly to kill the bill at the appropriate stage in the overall development of the country.

He said: “Presently, the 9th National Assembly has commenced another process of constitutional amendments, and I would like to make a special appeal to all our parliamentarians as well as other stakeholders to see local governments as a catalyst for societal development and give its full autonomy in line with the aspiration of our founding fathers.

“In the same vein, we also condemn a bill sponsored by Honourable Soloman Bob to de-register local government as the third tier of government and appeal to all progressive members of the National Assembly to kill the bill at the appropriate stage in the overall development of the country.

“I will also not hesitate to condemn another anti-workers bill currently before the House of Representatives sponsored by Honourable Datti Mohammad which seeks to remove minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list.

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“The National Assembly should not be a rubber stamp to the political elites whose main interest is to continue to inflict hardship on workers so as to maintain their rent-seeking activities.”

On his activities, since he became the National President of the Union after the demise of National President Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel, he pointed out that his leadership have remained resolute and continue from where the late national President stopped.

“In the last six months, we have remained firm and continue to wage the struggle for total autonomy of local government believing it is the only panacea that will address the inherent challenges confronting the grassroots where most of the population in the country lives and to save the job security of our members.

“We have also embarked on reconciliation drive with restored peace from the crisis facing the Union which also paves the way to conduct a successful National Delegates Conference.”

He said his leadership has also conducted State Delegates Conference in many State Chapters where elections were due and inaugurated newly elected officials.

He urges the new national officers to be dutiful in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities by making sure the objectives of the Union are realized “in the quest to protect the current comatose position of local government system into a three-tier of government that will provide efficient service delivery and to bring smiles to our teaming members through improved welfare programmes and enhancement of their career prospects.”

In his acceptance speech, the new National President, Comrade Ambali said the new leadership under him would vigorously pursue genuine and meaningful reconciliation to see that sustainable peace returns to the Union, adding that this was germane to bringing all litigations to a halt.

“In line with modern practices of trade unionism, unions no longer depends on check-off dues system alone, hence this government shall take a bold step in Investments diversification which shall broaden the economic and financial base of our Union.

“We shall pursue vigorously from where our late leader stopped on the issue of Local Government Autonomy and also ensure the successful passage of the Local Government Scheme of Service,” Comrade Ambali said.

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