Gov. Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa says he is not against the local government autonomy granted by the Federal Government.
Badaru told newsmen in Dutse on Tuesday that he was trying to strengthen the operations of the councils in the state and not to stifle them.
He dismissed speculations that he delayed payment of June salary for the local government workers because he was against their autonomy.
The governor explained that the council staff collected their salaries late in June because he wanted to ensure transparency and accountability in disbursement and utilisation of funds.
Badaru added that part of the reason was to also screen and ascertain the total number of staff in the payroll of the whole local governments in the state before he finally hands over.
“While doing this, people started insinuating and speculating that I do not want the autonomy given to local government in the country, this is not true.
“Everybody is free to verify, I used to give special intervention to the local government to solve some of their challenges.
“There are many local governments in the state that cannot execute projects after they finish paying staff salaries.
“For instance, staff salary alone of Hadejia Local Government Council is N50 million; there are many local governments with similar problems like that.
“In this case we use to give them bailout to execute some projects for their people.
“Some commissioners and top politicians in local governments influenced employments for their wives, among others, and this type of employees don’t come to work.
“With the latest development, those types of people will be exposed.
“I am not in the right position to tell the local government chairmen to right size or down size their staff but they should know that they have enormous task and responsibilities before them,’’ Badaru said.