May 28, 2024

 

The Senate has accused state governors of undermining local government autonomy by misappropriating funds allocated to them, declaring that the local government system in Nigeria is virtually non-functional. This assertion was made during a session where the Senate called for urgent action to restore autonomy to local government councils.

In a motion sponsored by Senator Suleiman Kawu, the Senate highlighted the deterioration of local government autonomy over the years, noting that successive governments have eroded their financial resources and decision-making power. The Senate urged President Bola Tinubu to lead efforts to ensure full autonomy for local governments and called for an immediate halt to the allocation of funds to caretaker committee-led local government areas.

The motion underscored the critical role of local governments in grassroots development, emphasizing their potential to address community needs directly. It cited examples of past initiatives in Lagos State under President Tinubu and in Akwa-Ibom State under Senator Godswill Akpabio, which aimed to strengthen local governance and service delivery.

During the debate, senators expressed concerns over the lack of local government elections in some states for extended periods, highlighting the need for constitutional amendments to restore democratic values. They also emphasized the importance of returning 100% of local government funds to the councils and improving the capacity of local government officials.

Deputy Senate President Jibrin Barau lamented the dire state of local governments in Nigeria, accusing governors of misappropriating funds and stifling their autonomy. He acknowledged the few governors who uphold proper governance but called for widespread reforms to revive local governance across the country.

The Senate’s resolution signals a push for significant reforms to empower local governments and ensure their effective functioning in addressing community needs and promoting grassroots development.

4 thoughts on “Senate Blames Governors for Local Government Crisis, Calls for Autonomy

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