‎Create special account for LG funds, Reps tell RMAFC

The House of Representatives has urged the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission to create a special account to withhold allocations of Local Government Councils run by unelected officials.

The resolution of the House followed a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Jonathan Gbefwi (SDP, Nasarawa) and Ademorin Kuye (APC,Lagos) during a plenary session on Tuesday.

Making his argument in favour of the motion, Kuye stated that Section 7 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As amended) guarantees the system of local government run by democratically elected officials and provides that the state governments should ensure their existence.

According to him, the local government is the most important tier of government as “It is the closest to the people and forms the foundation of both the state and Federal Governments.

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Following the adoption of the motion, the House mandated its Committees on State and Local Government Affairs and Finance to work with RMAFC to withhold allocations to local governments run by unelected officials.

It also urged RMAFC to “Create a special account into which allocations due to local governments run by unelected officials will be paid until elected representatives are put in place by such state governments.”

This is just as it urged the Attorney-General of the Federation to institute legal action against any state that terminates the unexpired tenure of a local government

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Recall that in December 2023, the Senate passed a resolution to stop allocation to some states after debate on a motion sponsored by the Senate Minority Leader, Abba Moro on the urgent need to halt the erosion of democracy in local governments.

Many Senators also urged the government to sanction other states that have disrupted the democratic system in the local governments and installed unelected caretaker committees.

According to Kuye, “The House is concerned that the dissolution of democratically elected councils is in direct contravention of Section 7 of the Nigerian Constitution, the Supreme Court pronouncements on such matters and a deliberate affront on democracy.

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“We are worried that the number of states acting with impunity and in utter disregard to the constitution continues to increase as not less than 21 State Governors are currently running local government councils with caretaker committees.

“The House is dismayed that this impunity and disregard to the constitution is a deliberate effort to upstage democracy, frustrate accountability and transparency in the local government and also thwart their development potentials.”

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