A Bill seeking Financial Autonomy of Local Government Councils, sponsored by Senator Baba Kaita Ahmad seeking to give local government councils direct control of their finances has passed second reading on the floor of the Senate.
This is contained in a release sent to our correspondent by the Special Assistant to the Senator on media, Mallam Abdukadir Lawal.
Revealing the objective of the bill, Senator Kaita said “The primary motivation behind this Bill is to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, (hereinafter referred to as “the Principal Act”) by substituting for section 162 of the Principal Act, a new section 162.
“By implication, the new section 162 as proposed by this Bill abrogate and brings to an end the obnoxious State Joint Local Government Accounts which has become a major obstacle to the financial autonomy of Local Government Councils as the third tier of government in Nigeria.
In place of the State Joint Local Government Accounts, this Bill empowers the 774 Local Government Councils created in Part I and II of the First Schedule to the Principal Act, to maintain special accounts to be called the ‘’ Local Government Allocation Account” into which all allocations due to the Local Government Councils shall be directly paid from the Federation Account and from the Government of the State.
“This Bill is therefore anchored on one of promises of the present administration to restore local government autonomy and release the local governments from the whims and caprices of State governments .The Bill is consistent with the provisions of section 7 of the Principal Act which envisages and guarantees by principle and policy , the system of local government by democratically elected Local Government Councils. He added