Reps to grant financial autonomy to LGs

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A bill to grant financial autonomy to local government councils in the country, on Wednesday in Abuja, scaled through the second reading in the House of Representatives.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bill sponsored by Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (PDP-Abia) seeks to alter section 162 of the 1999 constitution.

Section 162 provides for the State Joint Local Government Account, into which all revenues accruing to the local governments from the federal and state governments are paid.

In her debate, however, Onyejeocha argued that unless the joint account was abolished, the objective of strengthening local government as a tier of government would be unattainable.

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She said that local governments lacked the needed financial autonomy necessary for effective management of financial resources due to them from the federation account.

According to her, the bill if passed into law will strengthen the operation of the councils because state governments have `capitalised’ on the joint account to exploit councils and starve them of fund.

Onyejeocha stressed the need to abolish the state-local government joint account, saying that it would foster the autonomy, transparency and accountability of local government administration in the country.

“The practice of true federalism is lacking in Nigeria, especially at the local government level.

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“Some state governments deprive their local governments of principal source of their revenues.

“Unless more stable internal source of revenue are exploited, and state-local government joint account abolished, the objective of strengthening local governments relationship with state and federal governments will remain a mirage,’’ Onyejeocha said.

She said the amendment bill proposed for each local government to maintain a special account to be called “Local Government Council Allocation Account”, where all funds accruing to every council shall be paid into.

“The amendment also stipulates that disbursement shall not be made from the account except by a bye-law passed by the Local Government Legislative Council,’’ she added.

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Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, subsequently referred the bill to the Special Committee on Constitution Review for further legislative action.

3 thoughts on “Reps to grant financial autonomy to LGs

  1. If they are local governments, why then should they depend on the state governments financially in the first place
    The fact is that politicians in this part of the world know the right thing but, they would rather prefer to sit around to deceive and lie to themselves
    They usually are very happy to cleverly avoid speaking the truth in their quest to toe party line and to line their pockets
    The local governments have no business depending finacially on the state governors most of whom usual behave as if government money is their own personal property and will readily starve the LG of funds if they ever dare to dissent

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