The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Ondo State has raised the alarm over illegal deductions of N119m from the monthly allocation of local governments by the 18 council chairmen in the state.
The State President of NULGE, Comrade Bola Taiwo, who disclosed this during a press conference in Akure, Ondo State capital, said the development has been affecting the condition of the local government workers while local councils had been finding it difficult to pay salaries in the last three months.
He alleged local government chairmen in the state under the umbrella of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) of conniving with the federal ministry of finance and the Accountant-General of the federation and their state counterparts to illegally deduct the money for phoney projects.
Taiwo alleged that the local government Chairmen claimed that the deduction is meant for the construction of fake Comprehensive Healthcare Centres in all the local government areas.
But said: “Surprisingly, we discovered that the project has not been executed in any of the 18 Local governments in Ondo State.”
The Union, however, called on the security agencies, the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) to investigate the allegations and help in recovering the three-months illegally deducted and revert same to the coffers of Ondo State local governments accounts.
The union also sought the immediate arrest of the state ALGON Chairman and Chairman, Akoko Southwest local government for his role in the alleged deduction of the monthly N119m in the last three months, amounting to N357million.
According to him, the illegal deductions had further worsened the condition of council workers, especially who had been finding it difficult to receive full monthly salaries.
He, however, said the union may embark on industrial action to press home their demand and said “we officially communicated the state government of the sad development, seeking to know the state government’s involvement in the illegal processes.
“Precisely, on October 19, 2020, we alerted the state government to this unusual and illegal steps and copied other state functionaries, including the Accountant General, and we registered our dissatisfaction.
“We found out that the state government has no involvements; except for the complicit of the Commissioner for Finance and Accountant General of Ondo State.
“It should be noted that the funds accruing to us from the Federal Allocation already is not enough. Now, imagine 119 million Naira being deducted on monthly basis from the source.
“We want the EFCC to invite the Ondo State ALGON Chairman for questioning on why he decided to embark on these non-existing projects.”