Some local government management committee chairmen and councilors in Plateau State have lamented the lack of funds and non-payment of their four months salaries and allowances.
NAN reports that a survey on some of the councils, including Pankshin on Thursday, showed that virtually all the 17 local government secretariats were empty and deserted.
A council official, who pleaded anonymity, said in Mangu Local Government Area that the situation had forced most of the council’s chairmen to vacate their offices.
The official said that lack of fund had prevented the chairmen from operating and delivering development projects, programmes and services.
“Even when they come, it is probably to give directive or pick something in their offices and then disappear after.
“It’s like a hide and seek game. As we speak, our own Chairman, like many others, steps in and steps out only when there is something very important to attend to.
“We don’t know what exactly is happening; only the state government can tell us what is happening to the running of the councils”, the source said.
Stephen Jings, the state Chairman of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, confirmed the situation. He said the officials were worried about the non-payment of salaries and allowances.
“As we are speaking, there is nothing in the council account for the past four months; neither have l received my salary for four months.
“Since there are no funds to run the office, it is difficult to do anything. Have you been seeing me in office like before?”
Also, Daiyabu Gargak, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, blamed the development on the prevailing economic recession and the inability of the councils to improve on their internal revenue generation.
“It’s unfortunate that we so found ourselves in this situation of lack of funds with which to carry out the social responsibilities expected of us.
“What comes to the LGAs from the Federation Account is so little that it can only accommodate salaries of the council’s staff with nothing left for development projects”, he said.
- Bola Kougbe