AKUREó LOCAL Government Caretaker Committee chairmen in all 18 council areas of Ondo state are at a crossroad over bloated staff strength coupled with meagre resources from the Federation Account on monthly basis. Their worries stemmed from Governor Olusegun Agagu's declaration that his administration would not retrench workers.
But the governor's stand on the issue has put the council chairmen in a fix as they complained of their over-bloated staff strength which is affecting initiation of developmental projects in their council areas. At least, 10 of the chairmen at different fora had expressed worries over the issue and resolved to meet with the state government and resolve the matter which has been giving them sleepless night.
The chairman of Ose local government, Mr. Dennis Alonge-Niyi, at a meeting with traditional rulers and community leaders in the council complain of the staff strength of about 900 made up of 267 unified (senior staff) and 597 non-unified (junior staff).
Mr. Alonge Niyi who briefed them on the State of Affairs of the Council said: "The staff strength when placed alongside our local government population, ranks Ose Local government as one of the highest and over-stressed councils in the state."
"With an average monthly salaries and allowances of over N14m, including bonuses, this on the average of about 85 percent of total income of the local government and this excludes personnel claims as most of our monthly allocation and internally generated revenue are expended on staff salaries with little left for development."
Hon Alonge-Niyi there fore, declared that the choice of maintaining about 900 staff in our council is now yours for consideration and discussion at this crucial sitting.
"Let me remind us all though, that the executive governor of Ondo state has openly stated that he will not retrench workers. So how do we cope with the over-bloated staff and scarce resources in Ose and we must find answer to this poser", the chairman submitted.
Continuing, the chairman said that in the council, twenty drivers are attached to less than six functioning vehicles while over twenty typists are attached to less than eight typewriters while each offices has between two and three messengers/cleaners.
Reacting on behalf of leaders in the area, a member of the PDP Board of Trustees, Dr Bode Olajumoke kicked against any retrenchment of the council workers, saying that since the state governor is against retrenchment, the council chairman should engage the services of the over bloated workers in other productive ventures that would generate additional funds for the council.
Dr Olajumoke said that retrenchment of workers would be counter-productive and advised against it.
The advice of the PDP chieftain was supported by others including community leaders and traditional rulers in the council who said that the said over-bloated workers are indigenes of the council who should not be shown the way out.