Tor Shimbe to LG bosses: Prioritize salaries, IGR generation, security

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

Special Adviser, Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Benue state, Elder (Amb.) Jerome Tor Shimbe, has charged the Chairmen of Local Government Councils in the State to ensure that salaries of staff at the third tier are paid promptly and regularly.

This was contained in a press statement signed and sent to this newspaper by his media assistant, Jacob Atanya.

Elder Tor Shimbe who gave this charge yesterday during the maiden Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) meeting which held at the Conference Hall of the Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Makurdi also urged them to adhere strictly to the laid down template of Governor Samuel Ortom on Security at the local Government levels where security meetings must be held from the Kindred level to the Local Government level monthly and the reports arising from such meetings be submitted to the office of the security Adviser in the state as well as the Bureau for further necessary actions.

The Special Adviser also directed the new LG chairmen to ensure that the people at their various Councils adhere strictly to the observance of the laid down COVID-19 prevention protocols.

He also stated that with the dwindling federal allocation to the Local Government Councils, it had become necessary for Council Chairmen to evolve proactive strategies towards stepping up their Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, adding that such monies collected must be adequately deposited into the designated bank accounts for such purposes before being expended.

He stressed that Councils must open such accounts with banks closest to their various Local Government Headquarters and equally implored them to reside in their Local Government Headquarters for easy access to the people and keep abreast of happenings within their domains.

Tor Shimbe further informed them that the Bureau had constituted various committees made up of senior staff of the Bureau as well as Senior Special Assistants to the Governor attached to the Bureau, to ensure that Councils did not derail from the laid down rules and procedures and as well counselled them to carry the traditional rulers along in their administration.

He however warned them not to make any appointments public until such appointments receive the blessing of the State Secretariat of the PDP.

In his own speech, Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission in the State, Dr. Bem Melladu, advised the Chairmen to follow the laid down bureaucracy in their relationship with staff.

Also speaking, Benue State Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Comrade Godwin Anya, assured of the support of staff but appealed for the payment of the 2017 salary arrears owed Local Government staff and Primary School teachers.

Reacting, the Auditor General for Local Governments in the State Mr. Joshua Tingir, urged them to always ensure that their books of accounts are kept up to date while representative of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, PST. E. O Eteng said the country was looking towards diversification of the Nation’s source of revenue from oil to the non-oil sector where Benue State has comparative advantage over other states and appealed to the Chairmen to cooperate with the Commission towards identifying the various mineral resources deposits in their respective areas.

Responding, Chairman of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON, and Chairman Guma Local Government, Hon. Caleb Abah, thanked Governor Samuel Ortom and the good people of the State for trusting them with the mandate to serve as Executive Chairmen of their various Councils and promised to justify the confidence reposed in them.