The leadership of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees in Anambra State has raised the alarm over an alleged illegal allocation of the state’s revenue windows to politicians.
This is coming in less than one month to the expiration of Governor Willie Obiano’s tenure.
As a result, NULGE, therefore, advised the public to pay all local government revenues to LG employees and not to the state government agents or politicians.
The incoming governor of the state, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, had, at different fora, threatened to revoke all revenue windows allocated to politicians, through an executive order on the morning of his swearing-in, while lamenting the many revenue leakages in the state.
The Anambra NULGE President, Mr Chikwelu Adigwe, who briefed members of the union, at its secretariat, in Awka, said most of the revenue windows being sold out belong to the local government areas.
Adigwe protested the highjacking of the revenue windows, saying the move had rendered the local government councils useless.
He said, “We are doing all we can during this transition period to ensure that the right things are done. We have written to the transition committee, we have also written to the state assembly to complain about the continuous confirmation of transition committee chairmen, rather than holding local government elections.
“Right now, we have it on good authority that the state revenue board is still allocating revenue windows to politicians, and we want to inform the governor-elect about this.
“We are here today to complain about the way the system is running. The system was not like this when we came into the service. Things have gone so bad.
“When we were in school, we heard that there were three tiers of government, but gradually, the local government has been rendered redundant and inexistent. Our job is gradually being taken away by the state, but we will not allow this to continue.”
He also resolved to take back all revenue windows belonging to NULGE, including wheelbarrow levies, liquor licenses, and many others, which have been taken from them by the state government.
Adigwe also urged Soludo to ensure the conduct of local government elections within three months of his swearing-in and ensure the reconstitution of the Local Government Service Commission to include local government workers, instead of an all politicians affairs, among others.
“We have charged our members to go out and collect revenues due to their various local government councils. Any shop owner who pays revenue to touts should be ready to pay twice. We are not preaching war here, but we will not run away from war,” he added.
He claimed it had information that the state revenue board was allocating revenue windows to their cronies, with the intent to hijack the state’s resources, especially as the Obiano’s administration winds down.