Monday, 9 June 2014

Federal Government reiterates commitment to prudent management of resources.

Alhaji Kabiru Turaki, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs,

Alhaji Kabiru Turaki, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to prudent management of resources at local government level.
Turaki said this at the validation workshop on the draft review scheme of service for local government employees and the draft for financial memoranda for local governments on Monday in Abuja.
He said that the principle of the endeavour was to facilitate improvement in the two draft documents, to ensure that the institutions and structures at the local government level were strengthened.
It will be worthwhile to identify areas of weakness and strength through which people are either shortchanged or are being availed the dividends of democracy.
Let me therefore reassure you of our commitment to improve and increase the flow of fountains of democratic dividends.
The minister said that the objective of the workshop was to constrict areas of wastes, to channel savings towards providing basic amenities to various communities.
Our focus should be towards enhancing motivation of staff to improve productivity, career mobility and retention of staff considered cardinal to the overall operation of a modern local government.
According to him, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), which has been identified in the management of finances, will now be part of the system at the local level.
He said that the effect would be a harmonised relationship among the three tiers of government, to ensure adherence to the tenets of democracy, transparency and accountability across the tiers.
Turaki assured that the current administration would continue to do its best to add value to the tiers of government.
He called on participants to rededicate themselves to the goals of rewriting history and charting the course of the future.
Chairman, Presidential Committee for the Review of Local Government Employee in Nigeria, Mr Umaru Ambursa, said that the scheme of service was last reviewed in 2006.
He said the committee had looked at all the inadequacies in the scheme and would improve on it and make local government service attractive.
The committee looked at all the inadequacies in the scheme of service and tried to improve on such, so that it will make local government service attractive, to enable people to work.
Ambursa said that procurement cadre had been incorporated in the local government, which long before now was not there.
He said that many of the cadres in local government service had been improved so that people could now rise to Grade Level 14 and above.
Earlier, the Secretary-General, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Alhaji Shittu Yakmut, said the  administration was determined to ensure the deepening of local government in the country.
He said that the administration intended to take them where they belonged to in the country, adding that local government would fight to move the country forward.
The National President, Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Mr Ibrahim Khaleel, said that local government had suffered a lot in the hands of the state governments since 1999.
He said that local government issues should be approachd in the same manner since what was obtainable in one local government should be the same for another.
The Country Director, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mr Pa Lamin Beyain, said that the current scheme of service needed to take cognisance of the various reforms that have taken place in the public service since it was last produced.
The director, who was represented by Mr Matthew Alao UNDP Abuja, said that besides the scheme, the financial memorandum was equally important procedural document for local government system.
He said that the issues bedevilling local governments in Nigeria were not a national, regional or continental problem but cuts across the globe.
The workshop was sponsored by UNDP. 

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