Benin - The Chairman of of the Patani Local Government Area in Delta, Chris Ekiyor, on Sunday called for increased revenue allocation to Local Government Councils to meet their obligations to the grassroots.
Ekiyor, who made the call in an interview with newsmen in Benin, said that funds allocated to the councils every month were not adequate for the councils to meet their financial obligations.
He cited payment of teachers’ salaries as one area that was taking large chunks of the resources of the Local Governments.
The chairman said that Local Government Councils had to contend with the salaries of a large workforce because they were the leading employers of labour at the grassroots.
Ekiyor said that due to the huge wage bills being paid by the councils, they were left with little resources to undertake developmental projects.
He said it was not true that the councils were under-performing, due to corruption among the leadership of the councils.
According to him, council administration is the most scrutinised among the three tiers of government.
“The councils are monitored by the governors’ offices, House of Assembly, the States' Accountant Generals offices, Local Governments auditors, ICPC, EFCC and other institutions.
He called for the removal of the payment of teachers’ salaries from the list of responsibilities of the councils.
“In fact, the payment of teachers’ salaries should be completely removed from the purview of councils. Why pay salaries of persons you have no control over.
“The councils have no power to employ, discipline or sanction teachers yet we pay their salaries.
“The Federal Government should take up the responsibility of payment of teachers’ salaries under a special project or pass it to the states.
“If it is the responsibility of councils, then they should decide on how many schools they can operate and manage within the limit of the resources they have,'' he said.