State Governors Under Attack For Rejecting LG Autonomy

State governors across the country have received condemnation from the Trade Union Congress (TUC) over the failure of state assemblies to pass the local government autonomy bill into law in the ongoing constitution amendment exercise.

Accord to the TUC Deputy President, Tommy Etim, the governors were enemies of the country and described the development as saddening.

In line with the refusal by states to pass local government autonomy bill, the Senate on Tuesday directed the Clerk of the National Assembly to transmit a total of 35 bills that met the requirement of the provision of section 9(2) of the Constitution to the President for assent.

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The Red Chamber also called on Gombe, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, and Zamfara assemblies, to forward their resolutions on the 44 amendments sent to state assemblies, to reconsider their stand on the constitution amendments.

Daily Report Nigeria earlier reported that out of 44 constitution alteration bills forwarded to state assemblies, only 35 were endorsed by 27 out of the 36 state legislatures.

All state assemblies completely excluded the bill for financial and administrative autonomy for local government councils.

The constitution amendment bills were forwarded to the states houses of assembly for concurrence in March, 2022.

The states that passed the 35 bills include Abia, Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross-River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Rivers and Yobe.

Reacting to the development, Etim told Punch that the state parliaments had no moral justification to throw the LG bill away.

He said:

“Governors are the enemies of this country. It is highly unfortunate that state assemblies are also culprit in this matter. It shows the kind of individuals that they have.

“For years, local governments, council chairmen have become a rubber stamp. They don’t get anything. Why should state governors be interested in the money that is meant to go to local government councils?

“There is no justification for governors to interfere without allowing them to be autonomous. We keep talking about issues ranging from insecurity to others; how can these be solved when there are no funds?

“There are things meant to be done by local governments but they can’t and the reason is because there is no money.’’

Etim, who also doubles as National President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria also berated the National Assembly for ‘’allowing themselves to be used by the governors.’’

“Also, concerning the National Assembly, I am highly disappointed. It is saddening and highly unfortunate that they have allowed themselves to be used by governors.

“If they know they can’t promote bills to protect the common citizens, why are they in the house? Why are they wasting tax-payers funds on unnecessary sittings? It is unfortunate.”

Meanwhile, the National Assembly had through its joint Ad-hoc Committee on constitution review in October last year, slammed the state governors for preventing the state legislatures from passing the constitution amendments proposals for financial and administrative autonomy for the 774 local government councils.

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