LG Financial Autonomy Bill Scales Second Reading

Oluwatosin Lamidi

A bill to grant financial autonomy to local government councils in Nigeria, on Wednesday, scaled through second reading in House of Representatives in Abuja.

The bill which was sponsored by Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (PDP-Abia) is seeking to alter section 162 of 1999 constitution.

Section 162 provides for the State Joint Local Government Account, into which all revenues accruing to local governments from federal and state governments are paid.

Onyejeocha argued that unless the joint account was abolished, the objective of strengthening local government as a tier of government would be unattainable.

She said local governments lacked the needed financial autonomy necessary for effective management of their resources due derived from the federation account.

According to her, the bill if passed into law would strengthen the operation of the councils because state governments have capitalised on the joint account to exploit councils and starve them of fund.

Onyejeocha stated that abolishment of state-local government joint account would foster the autonomy, transparency and accountability of local government administration in the country.

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