Akwa Ibom state president of NULGE, Comrade Anestina Iweh and other exco members during a State Executive Council meeting of the Union on Thursday 8th September.

Abasifreke Effiong

Ahead of the commencement of the implementation of local government autonomy, the National Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE in Akwa Ibom State has called on the state government to pay all arrears owed local government workers under the state Joint Account Allocation Committee, JAAC before scrapping the Committee.

READ: NULGE demands payment of 2020/2021 leave grant, minimum wage arrears, gratuities

The President of NULGE in the state Comrade Anestina Iweh, who handed the Union’s demand during a press briefing after the State Executive Council meeting of the Union on Thursday 8th September, against the state government’s claim, insisted that local government councils will survive without the State Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC).

“Ahead of the commencement of implementation the local government autonomy, we demand that the Joint Account Allocation Committee should clear all indebtedness incurred under the joint account regime.”

“The local governemnt councils will survive without the joint account just as the state is surviving without a joint account with the federal government.”

NULGE said “there is nothing joint about the account”, adding that at no time has the state government brought part of its own IGR to the joint account and shared to the local government areas as stipulated in the law establishing the account.

Comrade Iweh who spoke as part of the nationwide call by NULGE for the passage of local government autonomy Bill by all the states commended the Senator Ahmed Lawan-led National Assembly, Governor Udom Emmanuel and Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly for their support for the actualization of the nationwide demand for local government autonomy.

RELATED STORY: NULGE tells Buhari to rejig security, overhaul monetary policy team

“The SEC-in-session use this medium to appreciate the National Assembly for their effort in actualising this all important and people-centric piece of legislation and further commend the Governors and State Houses of Assembly of Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Enugu, Edo, Ogun, Osun, Katsina, and Kogi for passing into law the local government autonomy Bill.”

“The Akwa Ibom State chapter also appreciate and commend Governor Udom Emmanuel and the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly for doing justice and following the path of great and noble men for voting in favour of local government autonomy.”

The State chapter of the Union called on Houses of Assembly in states yet to pass the local government autonomy Bill to listen to the overwhelming clamour by Nigerians for the passage of the Bill, saying that the demand for autonomy was a demand for a better Nigeria.