“It is important that we see how local governments can be independent, how local governments can have more autonomy, and Governors cannot interfere with what is due to local governments. In all of this, there must still be a cordial and symbiotic relationship. If we just say that local governments should just be on their own, it might have some disadvantages’.
“We must also look at how we can ensure that local governments have funding of their own without any interference,” Saraki stated.
He also noted that following the last Constitutional Review exercise embarked on by the National Assembly, only nine states were in support of local government autonomy, stating that he would do more to ensure that further cooperation and collaboration is achieved to rectify the issue.
“If we look at the last Constitution review exercise, unfortunately, I must say that we have a lot to do. I don’t think that we got up to nine states that were in support of local government autonomy. I will ensure that we do more to rectify this issue. I am proud to say that my home state, Kwara, was one of those 9 states that supported local government autonomy’, he said.
“It will happen. I assure you, it will happen. We are all in a hurry to see that it happens. The question though, is how soon? I always say that these kinds of things like the Constitutional amendment process, you cannot bully anybody. But you must ensure that there is cooperation and collaboration,” the President of the Senate said.
Earlier, the National President of NULGE, Ibrahim Khalil lamented that local government administrations in the country have been rendered impotent over the years as a result of undue interference.
“Our visit is to rekindle efforts and bring all hands on deck to ensure that Local Governments become autonomous in this country,” Khalil said. “We recognize that the leadership of the National Assembly has a critical role to play in ensuring that Local Governments become autonomous in this country.”