The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that the Edo Local Government Service Commission will be repositioned, and workers empowered for better efficiency and optimal service delivery.
The governor gave the assurance when the commission presented its 2020 Annual Report at the Government House in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Obaseki maintained that the local government is an important tier of government, noting that achievements by any government will be insignificant if the local government councils are not viable.
According to him, “the local governments have a bigger role to play in the life of the people in terms of the perception and impact of government than at the state level.
“We pay salaries and pensions on time on the 26th of every month, but if the local governments don’t pay, there will be more people that will not get money. So, we cannot justifiably argue that the government is paying salaries on time when there is a segment of government workers that are not getting their salaries as and when due. It will rubbish whatever achievements that we have made at the state level.”
Governor Obaseki further stated that the government is mulling more investments in the local governments, adding that the quality of human resources is weak, hence the need for capacity building for better service delivery.
He expressed worries that monies were being removed from the coffers of the councils without due process, adding, “A situation where people take cash advances in huge amounts and they don’t retire it and nothing happens is worrisome. A situation where you cannot correlate the staffing in certain local governments with their resources or earnings is a problem.”
On his part, the Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission, Chief Tom Uloko, said the commission, which was inaugurated on 26th November 2019, has recorded some achievements, including the promotion and advancement of 5,372 senior and junior staff across the 18 local government councils, confirmation and conversion of 574 junior staff, and approval of voluntary and compulsory retirement from service for 191 members of staff, among others.