Lawmakers Slam State Governors, Declare “Local Governments Are Dead” in Nigeria

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Senate Urges Halt to Funds Allocation for Caretaker-Led Local Governments, Calls for Local Government Autonomy

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The Senate has issued a strong call to the Federal Government, urging an immediate cessation of further allocation of funds to caretaker committee-led local government councils nationwide. This resolution stems from a motion presented by Senator Suleiman Kawu (NNPP-Kano) titled “Urgent Call on the President to Resuscitate Local Government System in Nigeria,” during Wednesday’s plenary session.

Addressing Persistent Challenges

Senator Kawu highlighted the persistent challenges faced by local governments, including security threats, rural-urban migration, decaying infrastructure, and widespread unemployment. He emphasized the need for bold action to empower local government areas, which are crucial in addressing the needs of Nigerian communities.

Erosion of Local Autonomy

The motion expressed concerns over the erosion of local autonomy by successive governments, limiting financial resources and decision-making control. Corruption scandals and mismanagement further tarnished the image of some local governments, leading to public cynicism.

State Governors’ Role

Senator Kawu also raised concerns about the role of some governors in frustrating local government autonomy through constitutional alteration processes. He emphasized the importance of financial and operational autonomy for local governments to effectively address security concerns and undertake infrastructure projects.

Calls for Constitutional Amendments

Lawmakers called for constitutional amendments to guarantee genuine independence for local governments, granting them control over resources and decision-making authority. They stressed the need for a unified electoral system and tenure of office for local government chairmen and councilors.

Revival of Local Government Institution

In their contributions, senators argued that reviving the local government institution is essential for addressing key national challenges. They emphasized the importance of returning local government funds directly to council authorities and improving the capacity of local government officials.

Senate’s Resolution

The Senate resolved that President Bola Tinubu should champion the cause of full autonomy for local governments and convene a national dialogue involving critical stakeholders to discuss the roadmap towards achieving this objective. They called for changes to the constitution to enshrine and guarantee genuine independence for local governments.

Acknowledging Governance Successes

Senators acknowledged past efforts by leaders like President Tinubu and Senator Godswill Akpabio in improving local governance during their respective tenures as governors. However, they stressed the need for sustained efforts to address the challenges facing local governments in Nigeria.

In Conclusion

The Senate’s resolution underscores the urgent need to address the challenges facing local governments in Nigeria and empower them to effectively serve their communities. It reflects a commitment to strengthening governance at the grassroots level and promoting inclusive development across the nation.


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