From Yakubu Mustapha Minna
The President of Association of Local Government in Nigeria (ALGON) and Chairman of Niger state, Hon. Gambo Tanko Kagara has decried that inadequate funding was militating against the effective and efficient operations of the councils in the country and Niger state.
He made the disclosure yesterday in Minna the state capital while the Niger state council chairmen were interacting with the media.
He stated that N4.2 billion made available to the councils on monthly bases are prioritized especially salary as first line charge before any other aspects of human development.
Kagara noted that some deductions to some agencies and parastatals to carry out some mandates, like N1.2 billion for UBEC and others has reduced their work load making them irrelevant in some quarters because citizens are not aware of some of these partnership ongoing.
Tanko Kagara who is also the Rafi local government chairman lamented that they came on board with recession although it was overcome with the intervention of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello.
He explained that, the partial autonomy granted to them by the current administration has thought them to bear on how to manage their resources as an arm of government which has enhanced discipline in financial management.
He, however, expressed satisfaction over the partial autonomy.
He further hinted that due to the autonomy some councils could not pay salaries hence where complemented just as no local government in Niger state owed staff salary to date but have variations in terms of projects execution.
He noted that only few councils in the state can boost of reasonable Internal Generated Revenue (IGR).
Kagara applauded the intervention of the state governor with N4.2 billion from Paris Club Refund to offset salary arrears of the local governments while the saying that the 10km roads of the councils by the immediate past government were abandoned despite between 50%-70% payments to contractors.
No fewer than twelve local government chairmen attended the session who respectively spoke on their achievements that ranges from renovation of education and health facilities, grading of rural roads, drilling of boreholes provision of security amongst others.
Those in attendance includes; Agaie, Lapai, Katcha, Agwara, Rijau, Lavun, Gurara, Munya, Bida, Kontagora, Mashegu and Rafi who is their chairman.