Mon. Jun 24th, 2024
By Joseph Gimba

The local government system in Nigeria is in a state of crisis, hindered by overdependence on state governments and a lack of autonomy. This brief urges Senators and Members of the House of Representatives to override states that refuse to grant independence to local government areas, promoting grassroots development and democratic governance.
The present state of insecurity and poverty is being attributed to lack autonomy to local government.

Poor State of Affairs

  • Limited financial autonomy, with states controlling 80% of local government funds
  • Political interference in local government administration
  • Inadequate infrastructure and basic services in local communities
  • High poverty rates and underdevelopment in rural areas
  • Disregard for constitutional provisions granting local government autonomy
  • insecurity and other crimiinalities.

Need for Intervention

  • Ensure compliance with Section 7(1) of the 1999 Constitution, granting autonomy to local governments
  • Enhance grassroots development and democratic participation
  • Improve basic services and infrastructure in local communities
  • Reduce poverty and underdevelopment in rural areas
  • Strengthen accountability and transparency in local governance Recommendations
  • Override states that refuse to grant independence to local government areas
  • Amend the Constitution to strengthen local government autonomy
  • Ensure timely and direct allocation of funds to local governments
  • Establish independent local government commissions to monitor and enforce autonomy
  • Support capacity-building initiatives for local government officials

Conclusion

Honorable Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, we urge you to take decisive action to address the poor state of local government affairs in Nigeria. By granting autonomy to local governments, we can unlock grassroots development, democratic governance, and a brighter future for our citizens. Let us work together to strengthen local government autonomy and build a more prosperous Nigeria.

Joseph Gimba Ph.D writes from the Centre for Peace Education and Community Development, Jalingo

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