By Smon Ebegbulem
BENIN—GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has said that the state government was not responsible for the failure of local government authorities in the state to pay their workers, explaining that he meets the monthly wage obligation to the state’s workers and that local government workers must be paid by their respective councils and not by the state government.
Speaking when he received the national leadership of National Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, led by its National President, Khaleel Ibrahim, he said: “I want to state clearly that Edo State Government is not responsible for paying the salaries of local government workers. I will not collect taxes from Edo people to pay council workers. I don’t know what they do in other states, but in Edo State, we respect the full autonomy of local governments and this autonomy goes with responsibility. I challenge your union leaders to show any evidence to the contrary.
“Under the previous administration, the revenue of local governments was spent on their behalf by the state government. They even bought second-hand tractors at an inflated price and distributed to councils and deducted the money from the council funds. That was what the PDP did. The union in Edo State did not raise a voice.
“Just last week, traditional rulers in Esanland said that the best the previous government did for them was to give them a loan of N500,000 to buy cars at that time and deducted the money from the councils, the union leaders did not oppose it.”