Bauchi Governor charges council chairmen to brace up with responsibility that comes with local government autonomy

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Cross section of Bauchi Local Government Council Chairmen 

By Akanji Alowolodu, Bauchi

Local Government Council Chairmen in Bauchi state have been charged to either brace up to face the responsibilities that are associated with local government administration and autonomy or face the dire consequences of rejection by the electorate who elected against all odds. 
The charge was given by the Bauchi State Governor, Sen Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir who also charged that they must have the capacity to contain the LGC autonomy which they clamored and got thereby making them the real third tier of governance in the country.
Bala Mohammed who stated this on Monday at the Government House while meeting with the Council Chairmen, told them that his administration is ready to grant autonomy to the local governments, but they must be financially prudent and accountable to the people.

According to the Governor, the local councils should learn to maximize resources at their disposal no matter how little as the state government also uses little resources to execute projects in the state.
He said that, “In this meeting with you, we are going to discuss issues of your autonomy.It would appear you don’t even have capacity for the autonomy we are giving you, you are only after the money and not the challenges.You can see how we are using very small resources to do a lot of things”.
He added that, “We have to do that, in some cases, you say, you have not been given money, but what you have been given, is what you have and that is what we are given at the state level and the commissioners responsible for all these things are here”
According to the Governor, “From this time on, I want you to start paying your salaries because I am tired of the treasury managing your salaries and you are blaming them for ghost workers,you will take responsibility for your resources” .
“What you don’t know is that we augment salaries of certain local governments, whereas some have enough, but we cannot continue to take from Paul to pay Peter”, he stressed.
Bala Mohammed assured that, “We will be giving you, your money, and you should know how to utilize it, where you cannot, then you will have to do anyway with the excesses of expenditure” .
He said that, “A situation whereby Bauchi is spending about N500 million on salary a month is unacceptable, N300 million a month is not enough to pay salary in Toro local government because there are dead people and the rest people living in Abuja, collecting salaries and you know them.This should be stopped by the treasury, but they have refused to do it”.

According to him, “You have given me assurances that you are going to do it. I will try you, so that you will be able to do it yourself. I have discussed with your Commissioner, so let us try that system and let us see”.
The Governor disclosed that, “I discovered that this thing was migrated during the last administration of former governor Isa Yuguda, from the local government to the center and the fraud are perpetrated electronically now.
“The nominal roll are fluid, you cannot control them.I agree, you cannot control what you don’t have access to. So, we are going to give you, your destinies in your hands, let us see it as a trail, what will happen since you have given assurances.If you are able to do that, we would be able to do us proud”, the governor said. 

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