From Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), has sworn-in it’s new National President, Comrade Olatunji Ambali, who was elected president earlier this year.
The new NULGE President condemned several bills in the National Assembly, particularly one proposed by Hon. Soloman Bob, which he said aimed at de-registering local governments from being a third tier of government.
Ambali, who was the former national treasurer of the Union has also previously served two-terms as Ogun state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). He succeeds Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel, who died late last year.
While giving his speech during the swearing-in ceremony, the new President said: “Within the short period I was elected National President of the Unlon after the demise of our dear National President Comrade lbrahlm Khaleel of blessed memory, the mantle of leadership fell on me in order not to leave a vacuum. And since assumptlon of leadership of the Union on October 11, 2020, we have remained resolute and continue from where our late national President stopped.
“In the last six months, we have remained firm and contlnue to wage the struggle for total autonomy of local government believing it is the only panacea that will address the inherent challenges confronting the grassroots where most of population in the country leaves and to save the job security of our members. We have also embarked on reconciliation drive with restored peace from the crisis facing the Union which also paves the way to conduct a successful National Delegates Conference.
“We have also conducted State Delegates Conference in many State Chapters where elections were due and inaugurated newly elected officials. In the same vein, a substantive General Secretary in person of Comrade Chukumeke Agounye and Deputy General Secretary Comrade Ayodele Ajuwole were appointed by the National Executive Council to strengthen the administration of the Union for better service delivery. Staff who are ellgible for conversion, promotion and change of cadre were promoted to boast their morale and productivity.”
Raising attention to several bills in the National Assembly, he said: “Presently, the 9th National Assembly has commenced another process of constitutional amendments, and I would like to make special appeal to all our parliamentarians as well as other stakeholders to see local governments as catalyst for societal development and give its full autonomy in line with the aspiration of our founding fathers.
“In the same vein, we also condemn a bill sponsored by Hon. Soloman Bob to de-register local government as third tier of government and appeal to all progressive members of the National Assembly to kill the bill at the appropriate stage in the overall development of the country.
“I will also not hesitate to condemn another anti workers bill currently before the House of Representatives sponsored by Honourable Datti Mohammad which seeks to remove minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list. The National Assembly should not be a rubber stamp to the political elites whose main interest is to continue to inflict hardship on workers so as to maintain their rent seeking activities.”
He went on to urge the New National Officers to be dutiful in discharging their constitutional responsibilities by making sure the objectives. He also expressed his confidence in the capabilities of the new executive officers.
Ambali is coming as NULGE president at a time when the union is faced with challenges of cohesion, having the task of uniting state branches and ensuring peace in the union.