Newly inaugurated national president of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Comrade Ambali Olatunji, on Monday insisted that the union will continue the struggle for local government autonomy, and passage of the local government scheme of service from where his predecessor left off.
Speaking at his inauguration and other principal officers on Wednesday in Abuja, Olatunji appealed to lawmakers to ensure the passage of autonomy for local government as part of the ongoing constitution amendment.
He also promised to embark on reconciling all aggrieved members of the union, in order to ensure all existing litigations were totally withdrawn from court.
Commending the relentless efforts of late Khaleel to improve the livelihood of local government workers in the country, he gave assurances of an open door policy system by his administration, to ensure everyone was carried along in the new regime.
He said: “We shall have an evident based reform on NULGE Career Service, which will make our career officers to stand at par with their contemporaries.
“In line with modern practices of trade unionism, unions no longer depends on check off dues system alone, hence this government shall take a bold step in Investments diversification which shall broaden the economic and financial base of our Union.
“We shall pursue vigorously from where our late leader stopped on the issue of Local Government Autonomy and also ensure the successful passage of the Local Government Scheme of Service.
“We never must stop striving for a better, fairer and inclusive union; we have no choice but to insist that this union stands tall among committees of Trade Unions. Comrades, this is the time for unprecedented collaboration among trade unions, governments, corporate and international organizations, members and staff alike.
“We shall pursue genuine and meaningful reconciliation to see that sustainable peace returns to the Union. This is germane to bringing all litigations to a halt.”
Earlier, outgoing national president of NULGE, Comrade Ahmed Labbo, who urged the National Assembly to grant full autonomy to local government administration, however condemned and sought the outright killing of the Bill seeking de-registration of the local government as a third tier of government, and the Bill seeking the movement of the minimum wage from executive to concurrent list.
“Presently, the 9th National Assembly has commenced another process of constitutional amendments, and I would like to make special appeal to all our parliamentarians as well as other stakeholders to see local governments as catalyst for societal development and give its full autonomy in line with the aspiration of our founding fathers.
“In the same vein, we also condemn a bill sponsored by Honourable Soloman Bob to de-register local government as third tier of government and appeal to all progressive members of the National Assembly to kill the bill at the appropriate stage in the overall development of the country.
“I will also not hesitate to condemn another anti workers bill currently before the House of Representatives sponsored by Honourable Datti Mohammad which seeks to remove minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list. The National Assembly should not be a rubber stamp to the political elites whose main interest is to continue to inflict hardship on workers so as to maintain their rent seeking activities.”.