This is sequel to the recent inauguration of an 11-man Local Government Audit Committee by the state governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, with the Speaker of the State House of Assembly as its Chairman, with the mandate to carry out comprehensive audit of all the local governments in the state to tackle the aforesaid nagging
In line with the governor’s order, the committee has swung into action and started staff verification across the 17 local councils, with Igbo-Eze North and Igbo-Eze South councils as the first port of call for the officials charged with the responsibility of carrying out the audit.
The audit committee became necessary following the prevailing inefficiency and inability to pay workers salaries by various council areas in the state, a situation which prompted the governor to peep into the manner in which the local councils are run to find lasting solutions to their challenges and make them effective and result-oriented.
The governor had while inaugurating the committee mandated it to take appropriate actions to capture the particulars of all staff of local government areas in the state, biometrically including all categories of teachers, local government staff and pensioners.
In the two local government councils covered so far, those screened included thousands of primary school teachers, local government staff and pensioners, all of whom were required to personally present themselves and documents identifying them in line with their status as public servants.
The committee also received the governor’s mandate to explore other matters incidental to their terms of reference as regards local government administration and make appropriate recommendations to government.
Speaking at the Igbo-Eze North local government secretariat, chairman of the committee and Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon. Edward Ubosi, commended the workers for cooperating with the committee and advised them to always be punctual and dedicated to duty after the exercise.
Describing the exercise as peaceful and enriching, Ubosi also stated that he was delighted to see workers trooping in to the verification venue en masse in compliance with government directive.
“I sincerely commend local government workers in Igbo-Eze North for coming out in large numbers and for their maturity in complying with government directives,” he said.
On the modalities adopted for the exercise, the Speaker pointed out that the committee adopted simple and non-cumbersome method, adding that every worker is required to produce original and duplicated copy of first appointment letter, confirmation letter, declaration of age, voters card and as well state his or her expected due retirement date.
Meanwhile, at the end of the exercise, the committee is expected to ascertain among other things, the staff strength of each local government and as well, determine their financial implications in terms of salaries and pensions; determine the number of political appointees in each local government and fish-out ghost workers if any.