By Chinenyeh Ozor
Nsukka—LOCAL Government chiefs in Enugu State are allegedly groaning under the weight of illegal deductions of their monthly allocations from the Federation Account by the state government.
Sources told Vanguard at Nsukka that the state government deducts an average of N20 million and N30 million monthly under different subheads including settlement of court cases.
Although state government officials are reluctant to comment on the matter, some staff of local governments who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the deductions started with the council chairmen whose tenure ended late last year and had not been stopped.
It was learnt that the 17 local government areas are also made to pay for some state projects even when the credit for the execution of such projects go to the state.
The cases which deductions are reportedly being made include those between the government and health or medical workers, teachers, judiciary workers, Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC and Trade Union Congress, TUC, as well as pending election petitions.
The workers alleged that between May and June this year, some deductions were also made from individual emoluments of workers throughout the state without explanations.
“Enugu State pays the least salary structure in the whole country. All workers including political office holders were forced to pay between N3,000 and N20,000 depending on how much such individual earns and this is irrespective of the fact that the state government has not implemented the N18,000 new minimum wage,’’ the workers added.