The National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Ondo State has commended Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for not tempering with the funds meant for local government councils in the state.
Mr Bola Taiwo, NULGE President in the state, gave the commendation during the inauguration and thanksgiving ceremony of the newly-elected executive council of the union held on Friday in Akure.
Taiwo said that the commendation was to acknowledge and appreciate Akeredolu’s style of leadership, forthrightness and passionate concern for the welfare of local government workers.
Taiwo, who also commended Akeredolu for prompt payment of workers salaries, staff promotion and payment of leave bonus, among others, appreciated him for giving the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) a free hand to perform its statutory duties.
“The state government under the leadership of Gov. Akeredolu does not tamper with funds meant for the local government in the state.
“The Ondo State governor is the first in the whole of South West to fully comply with the National Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) directives.
“These are laudable feats in governance and we hold ourselves as owing our dear Akeredolu a renewed pledge of allegiance and unalloyed loyalty,” he said.
The NULGE president appreciated Akeredolu and other stakeholders for the roles they played during the union’s election.
He said this was the first time the union began a transition process and completed it without rancour.
“In the not too distant past, our elections were usually marred by conflicts, at times with violent dimension or even records of fatality.
“The peace witnessed in this particular transition is made possible by the efforts of the national leadership and other stakeholders of the union who have decided to practice unionism in manners that are departures from what obtained in the past.
“However, more importantly, and strategic to peaceful NULGE election during this time is the contribution of Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
“Unlike in the past, government interference in union politicking was not experienced during the last election into union elective offices.
“These granted local government workers the freedom to vote people of their choice into office without any fear of intimidation from high offices.
“This is unprecedented, and for this, we say thank you sir,” he said.
Taiwo, therefore, promised Gov. Akeredolu workers commitment to support his vision across the state.
Responding, Akeredolu restated his commitment to workers’ welfare and prompt payment of their salaries, allowances, regular promotion and career development.
Akeredolu, who was represented by Mrs Lola Fagbemi, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, said that the recent verification of workers in the local government was not meant to witch hunt workers.
He stated that the exercise was to sensitise them and improve their welfare.
“We will not hesitate to be first government to implement the NFIU and also we will not be the last state to implement and pay the new minimum wage.
Akeredolu, therefore, implored all local government workers to improve in their productivity and block all sources of leakages in their councils.
“In a local government with a staff strength of 1,002 members, hardly can you meet 50 or 100 persons on seat at a given time. Where are the others?
“You must increase your output. You are not working for Akeredolu but you are working for people in the state, whatever you do at your little corner will affect the people.
“So, we beg you, as government is committed to your welfare to please reciprocate that by increasing your productivity,” he said.
The highlight of the event was the conferment of awards of excellence on dignitaries, including Gov. Akeredolu who was bestowed with the title “Local Government Transformation Agent”.
Other awardees were the duo of Mrs Lola Fagbemi, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Femi Idris, Chairman, Local Government Service Commission, who were honoured with the title “Woman of Substance” and “Man of Substance” respectively.