The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) has said local governments in the country have not attained full financial autonomy.
The association noted that the situation was hindering the nation’s development.
The Chairman of its Board of Trustees (BoT), Odunayo Ategbero and former ALGON Deputy National President, Constantine Ikiako, stated this at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the association in Kano.
Governors have claimed to have distanced themselves from local government funds, but the ALGON BoT chairman said some states now have what he called “partial autonomy” but not full financial autonomy.
Ategbero alleged that in some states, funds accruing to the third tier of government from statutory allocations go into the Joint Account where governors tampered with them before the chairmen can access the funds.
The ALGON chairman said the situation was worse in other states.
He blamed the constitution for the lapse, saying though the National Assembly had done its part, but the Bill for the full autonomy could not work as a law because most of the lawmakers, being influenced by their governors, refused to support the amendment.
“There can be no effective development in this country if the local government areas are not given full financial autonomy to operate,” Ategbero said.
Ikiako said ALGON would use the meeting to examine general issues affecting local governments to enable the association further understand their challenges and make these parts of deliberations.
He said local government finances, lack of infrastructural development and corruption across board were major issues that would be examined during the parley.
Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje announced his support for ALGON.
The governor spoke Wednesday when the association’s National President Kolade David Alabi, in company of state chairmen of ALGON, visited him at Africa House in Kano.
He urged ALGON to avoid connivance with contractors in misusing local government funds.
“The third tier of government is the most difficult administration in democracy,” he said.
The Emir of Kano, HRM Aminu Ado Bayero, tasked the ALGON president to hold a meeting with all the local government chairmen across the country to listen to their challenges and develop plans on how to tackle the challenges.
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