Senator advocates financial autonomy for LGs as catalyst for development
VICE Chairman of Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, has said that financial autonomy for local government areas in the country would give room for rapid growth and development at the grass-roots level.
The senator representing Kogi Central on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stated this while presenting the lead debate on a bill seeking to alter the provisions of the 1999 constitution to provide for financial autonomy for local government councils in Nigeria.
Commenting on the bill which scaled through second reading having been referred to Senate Committee on Constitution Review, the senator said he noted in the Local Government reforms of 1976 that, “Local governments have, over the years, suffered from the continued whittling down of their power while state governments have continued to encroach upon what would normally have been the exclusive preserves of local governments.
“Consequently, there has been a divorce between the people and government at their most basic levels.”
According to him, the situation had not changed, as local governments were still prevented from functioning the way they should because of lack of funds.
According to him, the discontinuation of the state/local governments joint account would help to eradicate or substantially check the “delay in states’ release of the funds to the respective local government areas; wanton and arbitrary deductions by States; utilisation of the provision as a suppressive tool by some governors.
It will be recalled that the House of Representatives is also working on a bill to phase out the joint state/local government acoounts.Share