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NGO Harp On Need For LGA Autonomy In Nigeria

 …….. Challenge Citizens To  Demand for  Accountability

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A non- governmental organization NGO, Social Development Integrated Center (Social Action), has expressed worry over the lack of transparency, probity and accountability in the management of the nation’s local government system, calling on the masses to inculcate the habit of always  asking questions on the budget and financial transactions of their Council areas.

It insisted that full independence  for the third tier of government remains the answer to the issue of mismanagement of public resources in the system. 

The group, maintained that it’s only by enthroning full independent in that tier of government that the nation would start witnessing participatory governance and inclusive service delivery.

Addressing a press Conference yesterday in Enugu, via the Executive Director of one of her implementing partner in the state, Ozor Ugonna Kingsley of Rural Engagement and Development Foundation (RED Foundation), the organization stressed the need for the masses to throw their weights behind the call for Council area autonomy in the country.

 The Port Harcourt, River State, South- South Nigeria, based NGO, stated that the media conference was aimed at galvanizing support ” for the call of  a transparent, accountable, inclusive and a true independent local government system in Nigeria.

Ozor, who spoke on behalf of the Senior Programme officer of the NGO, Prince Edegbuo, said it has become imperative to put in place “a system that supports probity and accountability to the people at the grassroots who elected them the (LGA Chairmen), into office.

The organization regretted that the ultimate objective of establishing that tier of government in Nigeria which is to bring governance closer to the people at the rural communities has been totally defeated .

According to the group, the 774 local governments in Nigeria received a total of 20.3 trillion naira from 2001- 2019 as allocations from the federal government . Inspire of these remarkable disbursement, nothing is left to show for it in terms of development, can only be obtained on paper.

“The Communities have continued to endure years of decay in health, and educational infrastructure, and a decline in the living condition and standards of the people in other local and suburban areas.

 It noted that in 2020 alone, Enugu South, and Aninri Councils areas where she is currently running a pilot programme, received about 2 billion naira and 1.7 billion naira respectively, adding that “whether the developments in  these local government areas is commensurate with these sums received,  “it is left for you to judge.

The organization also frowned at the alleged endemic corrupt practices  in the local government system in Nigeria, which  it said, the political Actors in the now sees as a way of life.

It added that “this press conference is therefore, a call on the citizens to engage their elected representatives to amend the constitution and create a legislative structure for a truly Independent local government system, divorced from the states.

“Local government is critical to the democratic process because it is still the most  effective tool for mobilizing people for local involvement and spreading democratic values.

The organization therefore, opined that the legislative  framework should make provisions that ensure legislative and executive powers and functions of local government Councils to gurantee  full autonomy.

“We strongly believe that a transparent local government system, backed by a well- defined legislative framework to manage its resources subject only to the wishes of the people will deliver the needed development.

The NGO, equally harped on the need for the citizens to always show concern on issues relating to their local government areas, stressing that they must always ask relevant questions concerning the budgets and the financial transaction of the council areas.

“This will keep the local government administrators on their toes, and will enshrine financial probity and effective service delivery for the social and economic development of the communities, especially the rural  areas.


Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=69169

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