Debo Adeniran, Executive Director, CACOL
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has chided various states’ government in the country that continue to corner federal allocations to the different 774 local government authorities in the country under puny excuse of their individual definition of what should constitute Nigerian Federalism.
In a release issued by Adegboyega Otunuga, CACOL’s Coordinator for Media and Publications on behalf of Mr. Debo Adeniran, the Centre’s Executive Chairman noted, “It is noteworthy that the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU had instructed the Nigerian Banks not to remit or allow any portion of their federal allocations to be deducted or received by the respective states governments again with effect from June 1, 2019.
“This is not only in line with the 1999 Nigerian Federal Constitution (as amended) that recognizes and takes cognizance of our 3-tier system of administration; it also tallies with various rules and amendments that emanated from the National Assembly, especially the 8th National Assembly. Though, the leadership of our (two) leading political parties had at one time or the other, insisted that local governments can only exist at the behest of their relevant states, this argument is self-serving with no substance or relevance in the Nigerian Constitution that recognizes 3-tiers of authorities as obtained in many other modern democracies.
“The truth is that, though states’ assemblies are constitutionally empowered to initiate the creation and coming into being of local governments but the final nod for such to become lawful and official must have the imprimature of the National Assembly. It is same for states’ creation, so as not to encourage willful and unwieldy balkanization of the polity.”
The CACOL boss added, “In retrospect, the recalcitrant attitude to local governments’ independence is actually inimical to ease of providing beneficial leadership to the people through the grassroots and convenience. It is germane to note that democracy itself as we know it worldwide today, started from the Greek commune called Polis a suburb not bigger than a ward inside a local government. In the United Kingdom today, affordable Council flats and other social welfare programmes, including primary Health care, Primary Education, etc., are usually within the purview of local authorities with the higher levels of Government exercising oversight and judicial control to guarantee fiscal and administrative discipline.
“This is why many have opined that such emasculation of this 3rd-tier of government is largely responsible for widespread poverty occasioned by unemployment, insecurity and deep rooted economic frustration ravaging the land. Accordingly, many have opined that instead of just making our local government administration a rubber stamp of their respective state governments, it would be more apposite to scrap the state as a tier of government and replace it with local governments’ authorities to bring governance closer to the people.”