THE Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has called for a 300 per cent increase in Nigeria’s national minimum wage for workers across all sectors as a result of the inflation caused by the astronomic increase in petrol price following the removal of subsidy.
NULGE made the demand in a communiqué issued at the end of its regular National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Thursday in Abuja.
In the communiqué, jointly signed by NULGE’s National President, Comrade Ambali Akeem Olatunji, and General Secretary, Comrade Isah Gambo, the union stated that a 300 per cent rise was imperative considering the inflation necessitated by the removal of fuel subsidy on local government staff.
According to the union, there is overwhelming need for state of emergency to be declared on local government administration in the country in the context of the overbearing influence of state governors on local government which had left it prostrate in the country.
NULGE said a state of emergency on the third tier of government would address the infrastructural decay, poverty and state of unemployment across the local governments in the country.
The union also called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency create a special intervention fund to remedy social welfare and infrastructural decay through the Ministry of Special Duty.
The proposed intervention fund, the union said, should be able to cater for projects and programmes in conjunction with local government administration.
The union also noted that in setting up the intervention fund, the federal government should establish a special agency to collaborate with the local government administrations in administering the fund for the development and the transformation of rural areas.
Adding that the state of insecurity had affected food production in the country, NULGE also suggested that the local government administrations should be assisted to establish special vigilante to protect farmers.
The union urged the government to utilise the 800 million dollars from the World Bank to provide mass transit and other interventions especially in the automobile spare parts companies, to cater for the transport needs of the masses.
“This will discourage importation, alternate energy provision (CNG), vocational skill acquisition centers for youth and women,” the union said, as it advised government to give tax rebate/holiday to low income earners and small-scale entrepreneurs to encourage them to be able to sustain their businesses.
The union condemned attacks on local government secretariats in Plateau, Anambra, Abia and Enugu states by gunmen nothing that they were unwarranted. It therefore called for the urgent re-opening of the 17 local governments in Plateau shut down as a result of alleged political crisis.
The communiqué further noted: “It is the conviction of the union that autonomy for local governments remains the best way to return the country to the part of development and growth. This will translate to the direct funding of local governments without which no genuine national development can be achieved.” (NAN)