Senate To Abolish State And Local Government Joint Account

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The Chairman, Senate Committee  on State and Local Government Affairs, Sen.
Abdullahi Abubakar, on Sunday said provision has been made in the ongoing
Constitution amendment process to totally abolish the contentious joint account
between states and local governments.

Abubakar, who made the disclosure in an interview with the
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birninkudu, Jigawa, also said the lawmakers
plan to abolish States Independent Electoral Commissions.
He said that the decision was taken at a recent retreat in
Lagos by Speakers of State Houses of Assembly and Members of the House of
Representatives.
Abubakar explained that the decision was taken to strengthen
local government administration, for optimal performance.
The Senator said that the National Assembly was working
tirelessly to dialogue with State Governors to allow local governments operate
independently.
Abubakar said it was unfortunate that only 10 out of 36
states in the country had conducted election into local government councils.
He said “This means that 75 per cent of the local government
leadership in the country occupy the offices unconstitutionally and unelected.
“From my tour to some local governments, the third tier of
government has been rendered useless, empty, and nothing meaningful is
happening at the grassroots government.’’
He believes that stronger local government administration
would impact more positively in local areas, help tackle rural-urban drift and
rising security challenges.
“If our local governments function well, the youths in the
areas would leave their houses and go to work and return home without any
problem,” he said.
Abubakar, who is also a member of Constitution Amendment
Committee, said SIECs would be abolished to guarantee free, fair, credible and
acceptable election at the local level.
“It will be the responsibility of the Independent National
Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct local government polls.
“We are doing all these so that political parties can vie
for positions freely during local government elections without any fear of
intimidation by the ruling party in a state.

“We have made far reaching changes in the spirit of the
change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari,’’ Abubakar said.

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