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Edo Forum Reprimands NULGE Over Derogatory Remarks Against Obaseki.

The Edo State Forum of the Association of Heads of Local Government Administration (AHLGA) has described the allegations of corruption and illegalities at the local government level levelled against Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, as a devious and crass display of ignorance of how the third tier of government operates.

The National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) levelled the charge against Obaseki.

According to the AHLGA, the state governor’s creativity has raised Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and improved administration at the local government level.

Mr. Desmond Imonike, Chairman of the AHLGA, Ahonsi Mathias of Ovia North East, and Shaibu Ekha Ademola of Owan East all signed a statement condemning the state’s NULGE Chairman, Mr. Lazarus Adorolo, and insisting that the claims were “not a real representation of governance in the LGA’s.”

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The state governor’s efforts, according to the statement, have boosted the councils’ IGR, allowing them to pay workers’ salaries and carry out development projects.

They also stated that the state government has not included any extraneous factors in the distribution of federal funds and other sources of revenue to the 18 local municipalities that are not allowed by law.

The AHLGA stated that the councils were fully participating in the pre-Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) and the real JAAC, contrary to Adorolo’s claim that they were not involved in income distribution.

It said: “We have read the press statement made by the State President of NULGE and wish to state without equivocation that the statement was made in ignorance without knowing the workings of government.

“First and foremost, we the helmsmen at the 18 local governments participated fully in both the pre JAAC and actual JAAC meetings where the proceeds of the Federation Accounts (FAAC) due to the 18 local governments are shared amongst us.

“At such meetings, there is always a robust debate before decisions are reached and the money distributed accordingly.

“The state government does not introduce any extraneous factor in the sharing outside what is permitted by law.

“On the issue of ten percent internal revenue generated by the state government being added to sharing, it is strange because previous governors from Igbinedion to Oshiomhole have never shared such among councils.

“We are baffled and cannot explain why the state President of NULGE would single out the Obaseki administration as a culprit. This beats our imagination.

“Since April 2021 and due to the Obaseki’s administration efforts at repositioning the councils, salaries are regular and efforts are on top gear to settle the backlogs.

“Due to the present economic crunch, payment of levies at the local levels have dwindled and in addition, the price of crude oil has fallen the resultant effect is the reduction available to the local governments nationwide and Edo State is not an exception.

“So what one would expect from the state president is first and foremost to express his gratitude to the state governor for saving the councils from total collapse and mobilise his members for revenue drive instead of this kind of vituperation, which would do no one any good,” it stated.

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