THE EDUCATOR - June 12 2019

CCIDESOR Decries State of Local Government Decay

A Non Governmental Organisation, Citizens Center For Integrated Development and Social Rights, CCIDESOR, has decried the state of decay at the local government areas, while urging elected representatives to embrace accountability and transparency to pull the third tier of government out of the wool.

Speaking during a roundtable meeting that held at Anambra State with support from NED that had different civil society groups, media, traditional rulers, NLC, NULGE, NUJ in attendance, the Executive Director of CCIDESOR, Mr. Obidi Mgbemena who spoke on the state of accountability mechanism in local government administration, took participants round issues surrounding local government autonomy and why the third tier of government is not working in the country.

He said, “a central concern is the accountability of public officials and institutions. It is where the major problem stems from, therefore improving government accountablity is evident in service delivery”.

He also listed as a problem, the unwillingness of state government to let go of local government financial autonomy irrespective of the new directive from the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, seeing as many states of the federation are yet to pass the law, at the various legislatures.

He noted when he spoke on “Legal Framework For The Operation Of Local Government Councils In Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges”, that the creation of local governments are intended to bring governance closer to citizens especially living in remote communities.

He also xrayed critical sub topics including, Status of Local Government under the 1999 constitution of Nigeria, Features of Local Governments in Nigeria and Constitutional Challenges Affecting Local Government.

Enumerating the constitutional challenges facing local government autonomy,  Comrade Obi said that, constitutional provisions for joint account, whereby funds meant for local government in a state are paid first, into a joint account from where the state transmit funds to local government, deprives it of autonomy.

Meeting rose with a resolution that campaign be heightened around ensuring that accountable and transparent local government system is mainstreamed for community development.