Abuja - The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) on Thursday called for the reform of the Local Government system to enable it to provide purposeful governance to people at the grassroots.
The President of the union, Ibrahim Khalid, made the call in an interview in Abuja.
He said the reform should be able to bridge the governance gap between the people at the grassroots and those at the other tiers of government.
"Our position over decades is one, which is very clear, and I do not think there is any ambiguity regarding the position of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees.
"We have been canvassing and we are still canvassing for a functional local system, a local government system that will deliver.
"A local government system that will bridge the gap of governance between the people at the grassroots and all levels of governments.
"We are really canvassing for democratic local government that will take care of the interest of immediate communities within a particular local government."
He said that the union was pleased with President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration of readiness to free the Local Government Councils from the grip of their State Governments during his inaugural speech.
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Khaild urged the President to remain committed to his declaration.
On why the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) does not support local government autonomy, he said that the congress as a purely democratic organisation was free to express its opinion.
"We need to understand that NLC is purely democratic organisation; everybody should be given the opportunity to voice his or her opinion.
"That is how we have been operating as a union in our country over the years," he said.
The NULGE president expressed his disappointment with the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) for not supporting efforts to strengthen the local government level as a tier of government.
"Their position is very clear; their interest is to ensure that whatever is going to happen with the local government level, the salaries of teachers across the country must be safeguarded.
"They are canvassing for a first-line-charge status of their salaries instead of getting such allocations from the local government.
"They are not against the functions of the Local Government Councils because they are all rural people.
"They are also part of the communities that we are trying to engineer to become better and functional," he said.