Enugu to set up caretaker committees for councils, postpones polls
ENUGU State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has endorsed the postponement of council elections and approved the setting up of caretaker committees for the state’s 17 councils, citing non-availability of budgetary allocations for the polls.
Addressing stakeholders at the old Government Lodge, Ugwuanyi called for the support of all stakeholders, as he took the decision in a bid not to create a vacuum in council administration since the tenure of the councils would expire on January 4, 2016.
The governor also said that the state-owned Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu, would be made a degree-awarding institution to elevate it to the same level as similar institutions elsewhere in the country established in the 1970s.
Ugwuanyi said, “Whatever we are doing will be in consonance with the Local Government Laws. In order to avoid any vacuum on January 4, 2016, caretaker committees will be constituted for the councils and this is in keeping with the extant laws of the state.”
Explaining the decision of his government on the council administration, Ugwuanyi told the stakeholders which included the deputy president of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, former governor of the state, Sullivan Chime, former information minister, Chief Nnia Nwodo, former minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, among others, that his government was desirous of flushing out ghost workers prevalent in that tier of government hence “the on-going council staff audit and other reforms” in council administration.
The governor reminded the leaders that during the last meeting of the State Caucus at the Government House, it was agreed “that all activities towards the council elections be put on hold to enable the committee handling the exercise conclude its assignment.
“It, indeed, appears to be a widely shared view among our people that it will be unwise and imprudent to conduct elections when this very important exercise has not been concluded.”
According to him, the reason for inadequate funds for the exercise was that such expenses were not properly provided for in the state’s 2015 budget.
“We, therefore, expect to address this deficiency in the 2016 budget,” he explained.
The stakeholders agreed that the governor constitute the committees and hailed him for the numerous projects embarked upon and others in the offing.
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