BENUE: LG ELECTIONS TO HOLD 1st QUARTER OF 2012

Posted: December 22, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Even as Caretaker Committee Chairmen have been recently reappointed,
the Special Adviser to the Benue State Governor on Local Government
and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Solomon Wombo, has restated the
government’s determination to conduct free and fair elections in the
first quarter of next year.
According to the Adviser, the reappointment was in accordance with the
constitutional demads of the Local government Law 2007, Section 25 (2)
and (3), which allows for the constitution of caretaker committees in
absence of elected Local Government Chairmen.
Hon. Wombo, who commended the 21 local government chairmen for
sticking to their mandate at inauguration did not hide his
satisfaction but was quick to acknowledge that, even though most of
them had performed creditably well, a couple of them had not performed
to expectation and thus had to be changed.
“I am satisfied with the performance of our Local Government Chairmen,
though one or two may have behaved questionably, we gave them
specific charges at payment of salaries and outstandings,
infrastructural provision and to a large extent, they have performed
above average.” He acknowledged.
Justifying the recent appointment of four new Caretaker Committee
Chairmen, he noted that the change was a necessary exercise intended
to inject new blood into the local government system.
While fielding questions from journalists during an interactive
session in his office yesterday, wombo , also recognized that the
Joint Account where the state government had to share out local
government financial allocations from the federal government, was
legal and proper as it is supposed to be a supervisory measure to
check extravagance in the local government system. He was also apt to
also state that the law that permitted this was open to reversal once
proven inefficient.
“…there must be supervision in everything; I don’t see anything wrong
with that. The constitution permits Joint Account. What is attainable
is an issue of the law, if the law is faulted it should be challenged
in the relevant quarters to be reversed.” He noted.
On the controversy surrounding the 18% minimum wage, Wombo reaffirmed
the bureau’s commitment to actualization of the agreement to pay the
wage bill. Although he also acknowledged that for the bureau to
effectively pay this new wage scale, there had to be adjustments in
the staff strength as overage and non-performing staff will have to be
shelved. According to him, going by the approved salary chart the
total financial commitment will 2.6 billion, where as the monthly
allocation falls between two and 2.1 billion Naira, thus the need for
staff appraisal and retrenchment which he had earlier requsted of the
Local Government Commission.

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