The Hon Commissioner, Directorate of Local Government Affairs, Barr. Newworld Safugha has denied that the State Government was in the habit of tampering with Local Government allocation from the Federation Account.
Debunking the insinuation while taking his turn his turn to brief the press on the Mid-term Reports by members of the State Executive Council said that instead, it is the State Government that has been supporting the local governments with funds.
Barr. Safugha who stated that the State Government is not averse to Local Government autonomy, disclosed however, that the State Government spends N500,000,000 every month to augment the payment of teachers’ salaries, a responsibility that falls within the purview of the Federal Government.
He commended Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan for being large hearted in supporting the Local Government Councils through the Directorate of Local Government Affairs with prompt release of funds to them, which has ensured development at the grassroots level.
On Delta Beyond Oil initiative of the Governor, the commissioner explained that as a supervisory Directorate of the 25 Local Governments, his office has ensured that the Councils internalized the vision of Governor Uduaghan by keying into the of Delta Beyond Oil vision, stressing that by Section 67 of the Local Government law of 2007, every Local Government Council sets aside two percent of their monthly allocation for agricultural projects. According to him, the Directorate is religiously monitoring the Councils to ensure that they comply with the said law to the letter.
The commissioner pointed out that the effort was already yielding fruits, saying that Burutu Local Government Council has established wild fish farming in its coastal areas, in addition to the acquisition of five engine boats, adding that 60 youths have so far been gainfully engaged in the project.
He also revealed that Isoko North Local Government Council has established a two-acre cassava farm at Ozoro while Warri South Local Government Council has also established a fish farm project which serves as training centre for staff and youths of the area as well as for commercial purposes.
The commissioner further said that Ukwuani Local Government Council has also established a poultry farm of over eight thousand birds as well as a fish farm.
Mr. Safugha who condemned the recent protest by the physically challenged persons used the occasion to commend the government of Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, for integrating the physically challenged persons in his three-point agenda by equipping them with vocational skills and other empowerment programmes.