Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe state has said that so much leakages have been blocked in revenues and finances of the 17 local governments, making them solvent for service delivery in the state.
He said the reforms, being implemented by his administration, resulted in the local governments being able to promptly pay their workers’ salaries, pensions and gratuities and execute developmental projects.
Gaidam revealed this on Monday during the opening of a four-day retreat with the theme “Improving the Goal Setting Processes in Local Governments in Yobe State”.
The retreat was organised by the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in conjunction with Superlative Consults.
The governor said that when he took over as governor, some of the local governments in the state were unable to even pay workers’ salaries, not to talk of providing social services, such as potable water supply, to the people.
The governor said that his administration strategized to address the problem headlong.
“We worked to ensure that all the LGs in the state could pay their workers promptly and not only salaries but also pensions for retired civil servants and gratuities for retirees.
“We also got the LGs to develop work plans for the execution of various developmental projects. The first approval I gave for the implementation of such work plans was for N5.1 billion.
“Many work plans followed and in the most recent one, some of the LGs got an approval of between N400 million and N500 million on the basis of the capacity of each of the local government councils. Some of the projects under this work plan have already been fully completed and paid”, the governor said.
He observed that as a consequence of the measures he took, there is a degree of sanity at the local government level compared to when he became governor.
“There is sanity in the local government system in the state now” and that “all leakages have been blocked”. “We will continue to block any new leakages that might crop up in the future”, he said.
Gaidam also revealed that at the state level, the governance reforms of his administration have ensured that the state government can execute capital projects without resorting to loans from financial institutions.
Also, for the timely settlement of the gratuities of retired staff, the governor noted that a sum of N10 million is being contributed by each local government monthly to take care of that.
The governor noted that following the commencement of the relationship with the State Partnership for Accountability, Responsiveness and Capable Government (SPARC) and the Local Government Reform Programme (SLOGOR), the state has recorded unprecedented impact in its governance system.
“This has resulted in the achievement of numerous successes in our overall service delivery mechanisms particularly in the adoption of Result-Based Management System and institutionalization of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system for tracking our budget performance”, he said.
Participants at the retreat were the council chairmen, vice chairmen, councillors, secretaries, Directors of Personnel Management, Head of Departments and other senior officials of the local governments.