The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has called on the Economic and Financial Crime Commission ( EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to urgently investigate the allegation of illegal deductions of over N5billion monthly from the local government allocation by the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON).
The union stated this while speaking to journalists at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) in Abuja.
NULGE rejected what it called fraudulent deduction, saying such activities were
being carried out under the pretence of phony projects already undertaken in the past.
NULGE General Secretary Comrade Chukwuemeka Aguonye further said the NEC received reports of the illegal deduction from her members across the country.
“We were told that fund of various states in the federation are being depleted with phony contracts purportedly awarded by ALGON, thereby making things very difficult for local government,” he said.
The NULGE leader also said under ALGON, N107 million was deducted from the Joint Account Allocation meant for Ekiti state alone, while the sum of N163 million was deducted from money allocated to local governments from federation account.
Aguonye said the money was being deducted across all the states of the federation except in the FCT where it was stopped.
“ALGON cannot enter into a contract on behalf of any local government because ALGON is an association by chairmen of local government and caretakers. NULGE frowned at this because it has affected payment of salaries, implementation of programmes and policies that would have positive impact on the lives of Nigerian people.
“We are therefore calling on the EFCC, ICPC and NFIU to probe the details of that phony contract because it is a fraudulent contract and that has affected local government. This should be stopped, and we are calling on EFCC to probe where that fund is being diverted to.
“That is why we are concern, there is no project on ground and they continue deducting the money. Even the variation they are collecting now, it is more, and higher than the price of the project that was not carried out.”
As an anti-corruption crusader, he said President Buhari must come out and probe where the money is being diverted to.
“When you continuously deduct N100 million, or N200 million from just a state, and across the 37 states, do you know how much that money is? Such amount is going down the drain, nobody is showing interest and the governors allowed this impunity to be going on in the system. NULGE is averse to this and we are not happy about it. It should be stopped immediately. President Buhari must ensure this is probed,” Agunoye said.
He explained that the money is being deducted centrally at source before getting to local government account, adding that the fraud would have been impossible if the money gets to each local government account.
Agunoye said: “If the money had been allowed to hit local government account directly, it will be difficult for them to deduct it. That is why we are clamouring for both political and financial independence of local government”