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Local Govt Autonomy: Reps move to halt federal allocation to 21 Govs’ appointees

The House of Representatives on Tuesday unveiled plans to withhold forthwith local government allocation for Local Government Councils across the country being governed by officials not elected democratically.


The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion on the urgent need to address the refusal of State Governments to uphold democratic principles in the Local Government and the financial impropriety of unelected Local Government officials, sponsored by Hon. Ademorin Kuye, reports Nigerian Tribune.


To this end, the House mandates the joint Committees on Finance, Revenue Mobilization and Allocation (RMAFC) to withhold local government allocation for Local Government run by officials not elected democratically.


In the alternative, the House directed RMFAC to create a special account into which such monies will be paid until democratically elected representatives are put in place by such state governments.


The lawmakers also mandated the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (oAuGF) to institute legal action against any state that terminates the unexpired tenure of local government administration and direct RMFAC to withhold allocations due to such Local Government.


Hence, the House mandated its Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance of same.


Speaking earlier on the intent of the motions Hon. Kuye frowned at the State Governors’ flagrant disregard to the provisions of Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which guarantees the system of local government run by democratically elected officials and prescribed that state government should ensure their existence.


“The House is aware also that by virtue of section 8 of the 1999 constitution as amended, mandates the State House of Assembly to make laws for the establishment, tenure, structure, composition, finance and functions of these councils stipulated by the constitution.


“The House is further aware that the local government, as envisaged by the constitution, is the most important tier of government as it is the closest to the people and the obvious foundation of both the sub national and the federal government.


“The House is informed that in December 2023 the Senate adopted a resolution to stop allocation to some States after debate on a motion sponsored by the Senate Minority Leader Senator Abba Moro on the urgent need to halt the erosion of democracy, as more Senators urge the extension of sanctions to other States that have usurped and upended democratically elected council officials and had installed unelected caretaker executives.


“The House is concerned that the dissolution of democratically elected council officials is in direct contravention of section 7 of the Nigerian Constitution, The supreme court pronouncement on such matters and a deliberate affront on democracy.


“Worried is the increasing number of States acting with such impunity and constitutional disregard as about 21 State Governors are currently running Councils with Caretaker Committees.


“The House is dismayed that this impunity and constitution disregard is a deliberate effort to upstage democracy, shrink the development potential of Local Councils, enshrine lack of accountability and limit transparency in Local Governments and the state as a whole,” he added.


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