Solomon Eke Obiakpor LG.
The chairman of Obio/Akpor local government area, Prince Solomon Abel Eke has decried the reduction of Federal Government revenue allocation to his local council.
The council boss,who spoke in his office at the weekend,lampooned the current administration of President of Muhammadu Buhari for its incompetence and lack of human face to governance.
“He stated that during the administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Obio/Akpor local government area was received between N 450 million to N500 million, but regretted that what the council now receives could not even pay workers’ salaries.
He said his council would have plunged into financial mess and found wanting in paying the salaries of primary school teachers and primary health workers among others,but for assistance of the state government in redeeming the burden of his council
He added that with a prudent financial management, his council has been able to pay salaries and wages.
The council boss said the federal government is not doing enough in terms of revenue generation because President Muhammadu Buhari doesn’t know what it takes to rule.
“He has no capable hands, people are dying and suffering, he is incompetent”. Commenting further he said if not for the internally generated revenue (IGR) “You can’t pay salary with the number of civil servants I met here”
He spoke of ghost workers, saying his administration has embarked on staff audit with a view to reducing their huge numbers in the council.
The executive chairman, who extolled the achievements of his predecessors,maintained that the cardinal objective of his administration is to take the council to higher level.He stressed despite the paucity of funds in the council currently, he has not relented in carrying out his legitimate duties as the chairman, through the provision of the dividend of democracy.
On the agitation for local government autonomy, Prince Eke, who is also the deputy chairman of ALGON, Rivers state chapter, stated that local governments have been having autonomy, even as he said Governor, Nyesom Wike does not tamper with the allocations of the local councils in the state.
He added that the scramble for local government autonomy is an issue for those who are being shortchanged by their governors. According to him, the “Governor has been magnanimous enough in helping the local government areas, that is why when the Governor said there should be auditing of Local Government Accounts, people should not be afraid. He has to call for audit of the money given to you to know if actually it was judiciously used,” he said.
He scored his council excellently in nipping the spate of insecurity in the bud in the bud in the council
He said: “When we came on board, the governor charged us to help him tackle insecurity. We are doing it. I started with carrot and stick; I was paying over 2,000 people especially youths to help them stop all forms of crime. But now I’ve activated the services of security people. And we are proud to have worked with the IGP monitoring team at Borikiri. They are doing very well”.
Still on insecurity, he said “we have restricted Tricycle (keke) operators from 6am to 7pm. We are also doing biometrics in conjunction with Zenith Bank for all keke drivers including Taxi all these geared towards reduction in crime.
“Every keke (tricycle) operator should come and register, even your route should be known so that in case of crime the operator would be traced”. He averred. “At the expiration of the exercise, any operator who fails to register would have himself to blame”.