Abeni Aso-Oke

DICHOTOMOUS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STATE- LOCAL GOVT By M K ILYASU

DICHOTOMOUS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN STATE- LOCAL GOVT

Abeni Aso-Oke

Abeni Aso-Oke

Any student who has endured civic or history lectures about the working relationship between local and state govt in Nigeria should be well aware of the basic dichotomy between full responsibilities in terms of addressing basic social needs, especially during emergencies versus the most effective ways to guarantee their long term survival.

Professor M K Usman further ponders in his article titled https://ebonyheraldnewsonline.com.ng/re-inaccessible-democratic-dividends-and-sins-of-state-governors-by-prof-m-k-othman/ whether the latest issue at the Supreme Court will be like earlier ones where the politicians paid lip service to social demands only to “secure political power on the back of grassroots voters,” or whether they “reflect a history of pseudo-intellectuals who have joined grassroots in an effort to dream retrogressive agenda of previous Governments.”

Abeni Aso-Oke

Now that’s quite a dichotomy. It’s fine and good to be wary of romanticising between earlier generations of politicians who neglected local govts or support “local govt autonomy” champions in their quest for social justice.

Background

There are 774 local governments in Nigeria. But their administration has been stifled by the overbearing influence of the state governors. Funds meant for local governments in the Federation Account are paid monthly to them through their respective state governments. But against expectations, the governors of the states retain the funds in joint accounts in the respective states and only release to the local governments what they wish. The local governments in each state have no say in the use of the funds in the joint accounts controlled by the respective state governors.

The office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has instituted a suit at the Supreme Court, seeking an order to better guarantee the independence of the local governments.

In the suit marked: SC/CV/343/2024, the federal government urged the court to issue an order prohibiting state governors from embarking on unilateral, arbitrary and unlawful dissolution of democratically elected local government leaders.

The plaintiff also prayed the Supreme Court to make an order permitting the funds standing in the credits of local governments to be directly channelled to them from the Federation Account in line with the provisions of the Constitution as against the alleged unlawful joint accounts created by governors.

The Politics of APC is the second part of a NEXT LEVEL of which the CONSOLIDATION is the first part.
Such a programme for the Next Level of governance might lead us to expect in the Politics, mainly a description of an ideal situation which might inspire us to comment in the hope of having direct effect upon political programs and institutions.

CONCERNS

There are numerous advantages to empowering local government to properly function as the third tier in governance. Local government in conjunction with Emirate council is one of the biggest benefits in the ability to bring development to grassroots as well as automate routine surveillance , monitoring and task maintenance such that is demanded in the Mechanism for Conflict Monitoring, Prevention and Resolution. With this collaboration, you can schedule these tasks to run automatically, ensuring that your Local environment is always up to date and protected from security threats.

Indeed direct Federal subvention allows the local government to enjoy some level of financial autonomy that in turn enables payments towards comprehensive projects including monitoring capabilities, allowing local vigilante to track kidnappers and other criminal elements in real-time.

In conjunction and collaboration with state govt and the Joint Security Patrol team, daily monitoring and operation provides valuable insights into how projects are executed as well as criminalities are perpetrated and obtaining early warning alerts to any potential threat that may arise.

Another advantage of financial autonomy to local government is its remote access capabilities. Both State and Federal governments can access the data from anywhere allowing for troubleshooting of potential problems and collaborate in the maintenance tasks without having to be physically present. This is especially useful for oversight agencies who can work remotely as the needs arise.

In conclusion, Local government is a valuable agency for any developmental endeavours and also security agency looking to optimize their performance and streamline their management process. With features such as real-time monitoring, automated surveillance tasks, and remote access capabilities, local government offers a comprehensive solution for development and keeping security lapses in check.

We shouldn’t wait any longer to empower local governments to play significant partnership role in development and sharing intelligence on the activities of kidnappers and other criminals that made daily life almost impossible to enjoy. We must make their participation a worthy experience at any level.

I am a true believer that the 774 local governments are more than adequate to cater for our needs. Efforts should be directed at scrapping State governments that have so far proved to be wasteful and duplicitous in terms of roles and service delivery. We do not need state govt in place of VIABLE LOCAL GOVERNMENT. Financial autonomy to local govt may be the deciding factor to do away with State govts in place for a FULL AUTONOMY.

4th July 2024

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