By Musa Adamu
Local Governments Councils (LGCs) in the south – south region of the country have been described as only salary payment points.
The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, who made the observation called on the federal government to save that tier of government in the region.
Speaking on the Federal Radio Corporation Network Service programme: Issues of the Moment, recently in Abuja, Enang said LGCs in the region only come alive during monetary allocation by the Federal Account Allocation Committee, (FAAC).
A statement by Edet Ekpenyong Etuk, Chief Press Secretary to the SSA to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, noted that Enang explained that the intervention of the federal government was necessary to enable them provide essential services to the people at the grassroots.
Speaking on the theme: “2020 and the politics of development in Nigeria” Enang regretted that LGCs in the region exist only to pay salaries a.
He said: “Most of the Local Government have been taken over by weeds while most of the Primary Health Care Centers do not functions nurses staying at home and collect salaries for doing nothing because government and governance at that level has collapsed.
“When we talk about politics and development, it has to progress from the grassroot, every tiers of government are involved because when the Federal Government is sharing money, they share to the federal, state and local government level.
“The Local government has been kidnapped, arrested, imprisoned and bastardised by the governors, supported by the House of Assembly. The Supreme Court has done his best to redeem the LGC in view of its past judgments. Unfortunately, the fact is that governor still behaves as if they are law unto themselves.”
He said that Local Government administration was doing better in the northern part of the country and in the western part of the country where they do not have oil money, adding that government and governance was worst in the in the Niger Delta areas where there is oil money.
He noted that governors had not been responsive to development considering the amount of money that goes to each state of the federation especially states in the South-South region.
He, however commended South East and North especially Ebonyi and Kebbi states.
He called on Accountant–General of the Federation and Attorney-General of the Federation to monitor the spending of allocation of funds to the states so as to rescue the Local Government Areas.