Stakeholders renew call for abolition of joint account system for LGs
By Angela Atabo
Stakeholders have renewed calls for the abolition of joint account system by state governments to enable local government councils in the country function effectively at the grassroots.
They made the call at a one day Public Policy Dialogue on Good Governance and Service Delivery at the Grassroots organised by PER-ECP in partnership with Democracy Vanguards in Abuja on Tuesday.
Speaking at the event, Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state said that his administration had strengthened local councils in the state because of their pivotal role in societal development.
He said that the his administration examined factors militating against quality service delivery by local government councils and discovered that proper funding was necessary for effective
functioning of the councils.
There is need to allow local councils full operation and management, hands off from their revenue,hands off their money ,let it come directly to them.
Let oversight function of state houses of assembly be strengthened so they can be monitored for effective service delivery.
I call on all other actors to allow local councils operate optimally because once they are given that liberty, things will be better ,more so abolish the joint account system to allow for proper service delivery, El-Rufai, represented byAlhaji Jaafaru Sani, the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs said.
Sen. Bala Ibn NaAllah (APC-Kebbi) said that the National Assembly had attempted to enact laws to ensure that local councils got their funding directly but was presented by those in government.
All agitations arising in terms of local government autonomy is guaranteed under section seven of the Constitution, meaning that a system is put in place to assuage the fears and grant electorate their request.
So the assumption is that those charged with the responsibility of occupying offices under the constitution will uphold the oath of their offices and not allow personal interest affect official decision and do justice to all without fear or favour.
If you will put that scale on every elected person, ask me how many will pass through it? So this is the situation that we are in.
Our problem in all honesty is not that we have not made effort to strengthen the administration of the local government ,our problem is political and only a very determined civil society and elite who wish this country well will move towards restructuring the leadership recruitment process in Nigeria, he said.
According to NaAllah, it is only then that the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians as enshrined in the constitution can be delivered so there is need to adjust the approach and attempt at corruption to make the system in a way that stealing is impossible.
Professor of Law, Auwalu Yadudu said that the local councils challenges the local government were those of the law adding that situation does necessarily mean that new laws must be made.
Yadudu said that existing legislations if respected and obeyed would solve the challenges because, respect for the rule of law would address the issue of local government autonomy.
Dr Adiya Ode, National Coordinator, PERL-ECP, said that the aim of the dialogue was to address Nigerias service delivery crisis due to socio economic, education, security and health challenges.
She said that the constitution made local governments in Nigeria the sole tier of service delivery adding their inability to function effectively raised many questions about Nigeria.
She said that the discussion would shed light on issues of how to improve local governance in Nigeria, how to ensure that those given responsibility lived up to expectations.
Source: NAN News