By Chikaodi Chukwuleta
Anamby State Executive Council of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees ( NULGE) recently paid a visit to the Board Chairman, Anambra State Local Government Service Commission, Chief Vin lfeanyi Ezeaka and the board members in Awka.
Speaking during the visit, the state NULGE President, Comrade Chikwelu Adigwe said the purpose of the visit was to address the challenges confronting the commission and NULGE, support with ideas, make contributions where necessary and advise as a union in partnership with the commission.
He added that the partnership with the commission will be to the benefit of the workers and the system and appealed to the commission to make them part of his policy making, especially where it affects the workers so that it will foster the desired synergy.
He mentioned challenges confronting the local government system which include disruption of the administrative and financial management by agents of the state government, citing example with the recent auctioning of abattoir inspection fee by agents of the state government, interference with the duties of the secretary of the Local Government Service Commission in the past, transfer of some workers who occupied some offices in the field by appointment and handing over to one transition committee chairman or another, noting that it’s a means of discouragement towards keeping the Environmental Department of local governments dormant , inactive and redundant.
He appealed to the chairman and the board members to allow the union leaders to complete their tenure of office before being transferred and put into consideration proximity to place of work when transferring of staff, bring back automatic promotions and appointments of deserved staff and employment of next of kin when a staff dies in active service as a source of encouragement to workers.
He requested the governor of the state, Prof. Soludo to constitute Local Government Pensions Board as it will help and assist the retired personnel in pursuit of their retirement benefits and called for employment of workers to replace the retired staff, saying that recruitment was done in 2002 and that of few health workers was in the year 2004.
In response, the chairman promised to get to the root of the whole problem with their support, get the system working by going back to discipline and productivity workforce, adding that he will then beg the government to make things return to normalcy.
He promised to carry the union along but said they should be allowed to sanitise the system through reshaping, reshuffling, retirement, removing the bad eggs to enable the system function properly and reward the best performing workers in the system.
He added that the government auction of abattoir does not stop them from performing their inspecting job, rather government wants to collect their money which is why they are doing it.
In a vote of thanks, the state secretary of the union, Andy Okoro thanked the chairman for giving them audience, assuring that the union will always be at his back to make sure the system works.
Among those present at the event were Azubuike Okoye, Member 1, Mr Edwin Uchenna Okafor Member II, Prof. Ngozi Christiana Egwuim, Member III and others.