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Published On: Fri, Oct 24th, 2014

LGAs’ Autonomy: CACOL commends Senate, Reps

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senate-chamber_anti_terrorism_billBy Akilani Abdullah, Lagos.

The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has lauded the National Assembly for approving financial and administrative autonomy for all the 774 local government authorities in Nigeria.

This was contained in a statement issued in Lagos and signed by its media officer, Abimbola Adegoke.

It would be recalled that the National Assembly on Tuesday granted the autonomy by amending section 124 of the 1999 Constitution, which has a consequential provision for making the councils a full third-tier government without undue interference from the state government.

The amendment, which was one of the 22 others approved by the House of Representatives and ratified by the Senate, has also abolished the State Independent Electoral Commission from conducting local government elections as well as made provisions for independent candidacy in future elections.

Reacting to the news on behalf of the Coalition, its Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran noted that the amendment will go a long way to impact positively on the people at the grassroots.

He said, “It has always been our desire that the local governments are granted autonomy to operate on their own; it is a known fact that local governments across the country as of today are just extensions of the state governments. That is why we have many state governors not conducting local government elections, choosing caretaker committees, which is an aberration. The essence of having that tier of government is to bring government closer, so this development is highly commendable.

“We had always advocated that the Section 162 sub-section 5 should be improved upon, to allow local government councils have their own accounts in which the allocation from the federal government is paid instead of the federal government paying into the states’ accounts. The payments into states’ accounts have been characterized by arbitrary deductions of local government funds by some state governments.

“We must commend the National Assembly for this giant stride, because without strong and independent local government, our people cannot experience meaningful development”, he added.

 

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