Emeke Jilly Ejiowhor
The chairman of Tai Local Government Area, Mr. Gbenekanu Kuapid, has promised to run a transparent administration, give account of his stewardship to the people always and also decide on the high rate of deduction of council funds.
Hon. Kuapid stated this when the chairman of the Rivers State Local Government Service Commission, Chief Hon. Azubuike Nmerikini and his team visited the council as part of their tour of all the local government areas in the state.
The Tai council boss called on the commission to check the frequent cause of staff absenteeism, stressing that most staff of the council were always absent from work, but receive salaries at the end of the month.
Earlier, the Commission Chairman, instructed the Director of Works in the 23 local government areas ofRiversStateto mobilize their staff to maintain roads at the grassroots, while addressing the workforce at Saakpenwa, Headquarters of Tai LGA.
Nmerukini said if this was carried out faithfully the rural populace would notice the presence of local government, pointing out that the state government had done a lot in terms of project execution and therefore called on the local government to undertake clearing of foot paths and culverts to maintain cleanliness and enjoined head of works to plan at the beginning of the year and put into the budget, the needed fund to clean rural roads in order to guarantee safety of the people from dangerous reptiles.
He decried the low turn out of the staff and ordered for the spot roll call of staff, directing that workers who were not present at the meeting should be asked to explain their absence.
The Commissioner supervising the Council in the commission, expressed disappointment at the poor attitude of staff to work and called for a change or face the wrath of the commission, adding that the present administration’s theory “is no work no pay”.
The Head of Local Government Administration, Mr. Adeye Sokari Omiete said the council has a staff strength of 629 and appealed to the Commission to look into the issue of training and promotion.
In a related development, labour leadership in the third tier government have been challenged to join hands with the state Local Government Service Commission to orientate staff on work.
Chief Nmerukini stated this at Oyigbo, headquarters of Oyigbo LGA.
He said labour leaders should mobilize their members to their duty posts always and that “it is not enough for leaders to shout the slogan, “the struggle continues”, when their members with impurity, stay at home to wait for alerts at the end of the month to receive pay”, adding that it brought about bad blood in those not working in the council and directed principal officers in the unified local government service to maintain staff movement on weekly basis to monitor staff.
The Commissioner in charge of Oyigbo council in the Commission, Mr. Smith Nwiyor, frowned at the negative attitude of staff to duty and assured of the Commission’s readiness to reverse the ugly trends and promised unscheduled visits to the Council, requesting for an office space.
The council boss, Hon. Nwaeke Felix Uche, expressed confidence on the Commission, adding that with their wealth of experience and exposure, they would turn the system around for the better, pointing out that the council was erecting a modern hall and modern secretariat.
The head of the local government administration in the council, Mr. Ezekiel Otogwungs, said the staff were dutiful, diligent, hard working and respond to their legitimate duties, as their welfares were given premium.###