BY DEMOLA AKINYEMI
Ilorin — Chairman of Ofa Local Government, Alhaji Salahudeen Popoola, has called on the Federal Government to increase monthly allocations to the 774 local governments nationwide by 200 per cent to enable civil servants at the councils also benefit from the N18,000 minimum wage.
Popoola also tasked the Federal Government to solve youth unemployment, saying that the Boko Haram menace was caused by the unemployment.
In an interview with journalists in Ofa, the council boss, said,‘’the whole monthly allocation itself cannot pay the N18,000, so all we will be doing here is paying council workers, we won’t be able to even pay imprest talk more of executing projects, that we promised the people who voted us into office.”
On Boko Haram, he said, ”it is because these Boko Haram sect members are not gainfully employed, that is why they are killing. If the Federal Government takes proactive steps to get youths engaged, the national tragedy created by Boko Haram and its like will be a thing of the past.”
He also canvassed for financial autonomy for the local governments to enable them have direct access to their monthly federal allocations to ensure development at the grassroots.
He said the joint allocation with the state governments should be jettisoned.
‘’The problem really is that Ofa alone cannot pull out from allocations being the only ACN local government because already, there are legislations at the state assembly that have made it mandatory for all, and unless, the legislations are amended by the majority, there is no way any local government can operate as an island in a state.”
The issue is if there is joint projects by the state, there should also be project of the council to be funded by this same joint allocations ” he explained.
He, also said that his major target is rehabilitations of township roads which were all in terrible conditions when he assumed office last year August 28th , and provision of portable water for the people of the local government, which he claimed to have commenced and that residents are already feeling the impact.
The council chairman who called on investors to come and invest in Offa because of the existing enabling environment added that his rapports with sons and daughters of Offa in influential positions to provide gainful employment for the people of the town have started yielding positive results.
He also said by August 28th,Offa local government will be twenty years, and that the occasion would be used to project into Offa local government in the next twenty years even as important sons and daughters of Offa such as Ambassador Tunji Olagunju among others, will be honored.