ABEOKUTA – The president of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) Ambali Olatunji, has commended the Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun for supporting the development of local government in the state, particularly the passage of the Local Government Autonomy Bill by the House of Assembly.
Ambali, who gave this in an interview with newsmen shortly after he led members of the NULGE in the state on a visit to the governor in Abeokuta, declared that the union is happy with the governor.
He said that the present administration in the state is the first state in the southwest to pass the Local Government Autonomy Bill.
The NULGE president told newsmen that the governor during the meeting, however, promised to look at the issue of strengthening the local governments in the state with assurance to look at issues bordering on internally generated revenue of the councils.
“If the governor had not consented, the House of Assembly wouldn’t have passed the Local Government Autonomy Bill. In fact, in the southwest, Ogun State happens to be the first that passed the bill.
“We wish the governor success, and we at the NULGE have directed that any state that passes local government autonomy should be supported by local government workers, we mean that.
“We have come to also reassure the governor that we are on the same page, we love him and we pray that God will continue to sustain him so that very soon, he will be the best in the country.
“On the issue of the internally generated revenue, the governor directed that a committee be set up with the view of releasing some to local governments to ensure that they become more functional”, Ambali stated.
While declaring that local government workers in the state would definitely support the second term ambition of Governor Dapo Abiodun, the NULGE president said “with God and with our support, we know that God will give him victory”.
He further commended Governor Abiodun for his promise to ensure that all the twenty local governments in the state are provided with graders and bulldozers, adding that the move would ensure that more rural roads are graded across the state.
“The governor assured us that when the rain subsides, his administration will be rolling out one grader and one bulldozer to every local government and there will be massive road grading and development across the state,” he said.
Ambali who also noted that the meeting was a further attestation to the genuine commitment, respect and relationship of the Governor Abiodun-led administration with workers and labour unions in the state, commended the governor for sustaining the payment of gross salary to workers in the state.
”The meeting is historic, it is fantastic, it has further demonstrated the genuine commitment of Governor Abiodun-led administration’s respect for workers, cherished relationship with labour unions and the zeal to further scale up infrastructural development at the local government level.
“On the issue of gross payment of salary, the governor vowed that he is going to sustain the practice of paying gross salary. This had led to several industrial actions with the past administration, but the governor has approved it, he has commenced it and he will continue to do that,” he said.
Ambali while acknowledging the decision of the governor to continue to do his best with matters that has to do with workers promotion exercises, also commended Abiodun for what he has done in respect of infrastructure across the state despite dwindling finance.
The NULGE boss who further appreciated the governor for not sacking any worker in the local government service, lauded his decision to recruit essential workers in the local government service.