Reps Back Financial Autonomy For LGs

By Emman Ovuakporie ABUJA—SOME members of the House of
Representatives, yesterday supported the call by
National Union of Local Government Employees,
NULGE, for autonomy for the third tier of
government in Nigeria. But the lawmakers placed more emphasis on
financial autonomy to free local governments from
the shackles of state governors who, in most
cases, see them as an extension of the state
government. House of Representatives In his comments, Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, Chairman,
House Committee on Public Petitions,
representingUkwa East/West Constituency of Abia
State, said local governments should enjoy
financial autonomy to enable them function
optimally to enhance grassroot development. He, however, explained that to fulfill the aspirations
and spirit of the third tier of government, it was
designed to have semblance of a full fledged
government with legislative and an executive arms
that were democratically elected as provided for in
Section 7 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. He said: “This is to enable decisions and policies
arrived at have the force of law but do they also
want a police or army or even a judiciary, the
constitution do not envisage this. “In a bid not to make it an appendage of the state,
financial autonomy will make the third tier of
government function optimally.’’ In his reaction, Ehiozuwa Johnson
Agbonayinma,PDP, and Chairman House adhoc
C’ttee on Nigeria/US Relations representing Ikpba
Oha/Egor Fed Constituency in Edo State,
supported the idea of financial autonomy for local
governments but quickly pointed out that caretaker committees should no longer be allowed
to man local governments. According to him, this is another monumental level
of corruption.

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