Outcry as Niger council chairmen travel to Ghana

A one-week trip of 25 local government chairmen in Niger to Ghana for a training has generated outcry.

Many residents frowned at the trip at a time many of them couldn’t pay salaries.

The retreat in Ghana is coming barely two months after they attended a similar retreat in Kaduna two days after they were inaugurated into office in January 2020.

Local government workers wondered why the retreat could not hold in Nigeria, describing the trip to Ghana as waste of resources.

The Nation gathered that most of the local council chairmen have not been able to pay the salaries of some their staff in February.

The Nation gathered that out of the 25 local government chairman who went on the retreat to Ghana, 13 councils cannot pay the salaries of their workers.

These local government councils that cannot pay workers’ salaries include: Chanchaga, Bida, Suleja, Kontagora, Mokwa, Paikoro, Shiroro, Lavun, Lapai, Agaie, paikoro, Rijau, and Tafa.

The Nation gathered that the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs had adopted a method of using the surplus from the other local government areas to augment the allocation of the affected local government councils to enable these councils to be able to pay their staff.

However, during the last meeting regarding the sharing formula from the federal allocation, there was a strong disagreement as the councils who could comfortably pay their staff vehemently refused to part with their surplus.

The paying chairmen were said to have told their colleagues without adequate funds to reduce their workforce if they cannot pay their, saying they were being cheated from what belongs to them.

The meeting ended in a deadlock as none of the buoyant local government councils agreed to share their surplus to the other councils.

The Ghana trip of the local government Chairmen was confirmed in the Niger state House of Assembly plenary by the Member representing Suleja Constituency,Hon. Shuaibu Liman Iya.

Liman Iya, who was responding to the motion moved by one of the legislators to call the Commissioner for Environment to the Assembly to explain the reason why the state is not cleared from refuse, said that the commissioner traveled alongside the 25 local government Chairmen to Ghana.

“As we are talking, some of us may not be aware, the Commissioner of Environment and the 25 local government Chairmen in Niger state are on their way to Ghana.

“They are going to Ghana to open windows for the state to partner with some companies outside the country particularly in Ghana and they also want to learn from them.”

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Sani, Mrs. Mary Noel Berje, confirmed the chairmen were in Ghana but not for a retreat.

She said that the chairmen were in Ghana in furtherance to the Governor’s earlier visit to Jonsang waste recycling company for effective waste management in the state.

According to her, the trip was to learn the new approach of keeping the state clean, a approach in which the council chairmen are critical stakeholders.

“The Accra based recycling group of companies is expected to establish an outfit in the state to take care of waste sorting and organic waste composting plant, plastic recycling and waste bins manufacturing plant, tricycle assembly plant and the state-of-the -art liquid waste processing plant,” she explained.

The Nation

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