Asaba — DELTA State Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Mr. Newworld Safugha, has said that the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, was not meddling in the administration of local government areas in the state.
Speaking on the increasing agitation for financial autonomy for local government councils at the annual dinner party/interactive session organised by Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, Delta State chapter, in Asaba, he said: "As a true democrat, Governor Uduaghan never interferes in the activities of local governments."
He said that N600 million was spent on monthly basis by the state government to augment the payment of primary school teachers' salary to ensure that the system did not suffer undue dislocation as a result of lack of funds.
Noting that payment of primary school teachers' salary was the responsibility of the councils, Safugha said that beyond the salary augmentation, the governor had done much in the area of infrastructure to transform the primary school system in the state and make it one of the best in the country.
He said that the state government was not against autonomy advocated for local governments, adding that when it eventually scaled through, such money expended on teachers would be deployed to other sectors of the economy.
He commended NULGE for organising the event, noting that the union, under the leadership of Mr. David Ofoeyeno, had stabilised the local government system, assuring that Governor Uduaghan, being a labour friendly governor, would continue to provide the necessary support to the union.