By Tejiri Ebikeme
Warri South-West Council Chairman in Delta State, Hon. George Ekpemupolo has blamed joint-account system being operated by most states with local government councils as the bane of under-development and inability to pay workers’ salaries in councils across the country.

The newly commissioned Kokodiagbene Community Town in Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State.

George, however, advocated for the scrapping of the joint-account system to allow LGs function as they are expected in the country.

The council chairman made the call while answering questions from newsmen during the commissioning of a community town hall executed by his administration at Kokodiagbene community in Gbaramatu Kingdom of the council.
The town hall which he said cost the council about thirty-five million naira was executed due to prudent management of the council resources.

Warri South-West Local Government Council Chairman,Hon. George Ekpemupolo(3rd from left) commissioning the Kokodiagbene Community Town Hall while Kokodiagbene Community Chairman, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, Secretary of Warri South-West Local Government Council, Hon. Emmanuel Golly, Leader of Warri South-West Local Government Council Legislative Arm, Hon. Dennis Erebo, Chief Emmanuel Ekpetipu(right) and Hon. Blexson Omadoye, Vice Chairman of Warri South-West Local
> Government Council.

While calling on President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government to make LGs autonomous from state government interference noted that if the councils are made autonomous it would help tackle issue of under-development in the rural areas which councils are meant to serve.

The Warri South-West Chairman who is one of the few council bosses in Delta State that are not owing workers’ salaries which had led to strike by many council workers in the state disclosed that councils are face with the challenge of paucity of funds to meet its statutory obligations.
“The major challenge facing local government is fund.  There are no funds especially with this joint account with the states. If I’ve my way I’ll make LGs autonomous. They should be free to operate on their own”, Hon. George stated.
He added that, “if you are a politician and very prudent with the little you have, one can make a different. We have been able to manage the little resources we have prudently that is why we are not owning workers’ salaries. We are not getting money from anywhere. It’s the little we have been able to manage well.

.L-R; Chairperson of Agric Department of Warri South-West Local Government Council,Hon.(Mrs. Seibiribo.T.Christiana JP,Hon. Blexson Omadoye, Vice Chairman of Warri South-West LGC, Hon. George Ekpemupolo, Warri South-West LGC Chairman, Hon. Dennis Erebi, Leader of Warri South-West LGC Legislative Arm, Hon. Emmanuel Golly,  Secretary of Warri South-West LGC and Mr. Douglas Akambe, Head of
Personnel Management in Warri South-West LGC duringtth  official commissioning of Kokodiagbene Community Townhall

According to him, “My workers didn’t embark on strike because we have been able to meet payment of salaries. The FG should make LGs function autonomously as a third tier of government. The councils should be made autonomous and that is what I’m advocating.”

While enjoining the people and residents of the council to remain peaceful, he charged the Kokodiagbene community to protect government projects sited in their areas.
In his brief remark, the community chairman, Comrade Sheriff Mulade thanked the council chairman for the project while also appealing for the construction of modern market in the community to save the people from travelling over three hours in speedboats to urban centre to purchase food items.