Rivers State Governor, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike has warned the newly appointed Caretaker Committee chairmen of 19, out of the 23 local government areas in the state, against accessing their security votes without his approval.
This is as the governor directed the state local government service commission to ensure the payment of outstanding salaries owed to local government council workers in the state.
Wike, who spoke yesterday while swearing-in 19 caretaker committee chairmen at the Government House, Port Harcourt, also directed that before the release of imprest and security votes to the council chiefs, salaries must first be paid.
He said, “All salaries owed local government workers must be settled before any security votes are released to the caretaker chairmen. We must uphold the welfare of workers at all levels,” he said.
The governor stated that his administration will monitor the pattern of expenditure of the local government areas to ensure that funds are deployed to areas that will promote the interest of the people.
Wike warned heads of personnel management and treasurers in the local government councils against conniving with caretaker committee chairmen to negatively manipulate the financial process in the councils.
He said, “If any local government head of personnel management or treasurer colludes with a caretaker committee chairman to release unauthorised funds, such official will be sanctioned”.
The governor directed the local government caretaker committees to always remit taxes deducted after the payment of salaries.
While congratulating the caretaker chairmen on their respective appointments, the governor advised them to interface with security agencies to promote law and order.
In an interview after the swearing in ceremony, chairman of Bonny local government area, Mr. Simon Hart said that the local government caretaker chairmen will work with the direction of Wike.