Confab committee okays LG autonomy

 Says we won’t scrap LGs

Bode Olagoke

The Committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Government has said that its efforts to reposition the local government system at the ongoing National Conference will make it more autonomous and more effective.
The committee also said at no time did it recommend the scrapping of the 774 local governments as it was reported in the dailies yesterday.
The Co-chairman of the committee, Hon. Mohammed Kumaila, told Blueprint yesterday that what the committee did was to secure and guarantee the existence of local governments inline with section 7 of the Nigerian constitution.

He added: “What we also did in addition to that was to give state Houses of Assembly the power to  recreate the composition, the structure and issues related to Finnance and so on, to be dealt with by the state Houses of Assembly. We have a situation where some states will like to create more local governments; it has been impossible. So what we did was to transfer the list of local government matters in the constitution to the state law, so that whenever you create or you reduce the number of  local governments in a particular state, you do not have to come back to the National Assembly.”
Reacting to why the media quoted the committee as scrapping of the LGs, Kumaila cleared the air and said it was a misunderstanding, adding that the committee had never recommended the scrapping of  local governments.

He said, “What the committee did was to further re-einforce its existence. What was interpreted as scrapping is that we have only a central government and the states as the federating units, so we said local governments are not part of the federating units; local governments are administrative units, whose existence is guaranteed under the constitution and whose functions, compositions will be spelt out by laws of the state Houses of Assembly, and we went further to say that creation and amendments will be done by the state Houses of Assembly.”
The chairman assured further that the restructuring will not negate the clamour for local governments autonomy in the country.
He said, “In fact, local government is now autonomous.”

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