Reps Urge FG to Halt Allocation to LGAs Run by Caretaker Committees

The House of Representatives on Tuesday, July 9, urged the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to withhold allocations from the Federation Account to local government areas in the country that are run by unelected officials.

This followed a motion of urgent public importance brought to the House by Hon. Ademorin Kuye (APC, Lagos) and Jonathan Gaza Gbewfi on the need to address the refusal of state government across the country to uphold democratic principles in local government and financial impropriety in local government.

The House wants 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.

The House asked the Attorney-General of the Federation to institute legal action against any state that terminates the unexpired tenure of a local government.

Moving the motion, Hon. Kuye said 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 while state governments are to ensure their existence.

He stressed 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 forms the foundation of both the state and federal governments.

He said: “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 Senator 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.

“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.

“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

“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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