The federal government monday inaugurated a presidential committee to review the local government scheme of service. The inauguration of the committee marked the commencement of the process and review of the three vital documents important to local government administration in Nigeria.
Inaugurating the committee in Abuja, the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki, said the scheme of service for local government employees was long overdue for a review as the current edition was produced in 2006 as against every two years stipulated by the constitution.
According to him, the review would significantly contribute to reducing the challenges in the sector and would help curb rural urban drift of manpower as the youths prefer to work in the city centres than small towns or villages after graduation.
The minister noted that efforts had been made by stakeholders to minimise the systematic challenges in local governance in Nigeria, adding that the re-establishment of the Ministry of Special Duties by President Goodluck Jonathan was to ensure that such effort was harmonised for optimal results.
Turaki stated: “This review therefore, is borne out of the existing collaboration between the ministry and the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) under ‘the strengthening Nigeria’s local governance programme;’ the work-plan for the programme was signed by both parties this year which provides for the review of three documents as the foundation for strengthening local governance.
“Therefore, this committee is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that the scheme of service for local government employees is reviewed in line with what obtains in the federal civil service and with global standard,” he stated.
The terms of reference of the committee includes; to review the current scheme of service (2006 edition), to liaise with the Establishment Department of Head of Service to approve cadres in the scheme of service and to produce a draft copy of local government scheme of service.
The committee chaired by Mr. Umaru Ambursa is expected to complete its assignment in earnest to enable the ministry present the documents for validation by stakeholders during the CLGF/UNDP supported conference in the end week of June.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Taiye Haruna, said through the review and the ongoing collaboration between the ministry, UNDP and other stakeholders, sustainable development would be realised at local level in Nigeria.
He, however, expressed confidence in the calibre of people that constituted the committee to come up with ideas that would ensure sustainable development at the local level.
Responding on behalf of the committee, Chairman, Niger State Local Government Service Commission, Mr. Halidu Ibrahim, expressed gratitude for the faith showed in them while promising that the committee would do its best to review the scheme of service in order to improve service delivery at the local level.
He noted that the review would also address the issue of ghost workers.