As a result of the recent constitutional amendments carried out by the National Assembly, which grants autonomy to local governments in the country, the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Osun State chapter on Wednesday urged all the State Houses of Assembly in the South West to support development.
The National Assembly is expected to transmit the documents on the amended constitutional provisions to legislative arm of the government at the states’ level for deliberations at their respective plenary sessions before a decision can be reached on the matter.
But, the Osun State President of NULGE, Comrade (Engr) Adedeji Adeyeye, who made presentation to South West Legislative Reform Implementation Committee, which met in Osogbo yesterday canvassed for the practical support of the legislators on full autonomy to local governments so that visible development and responsive governance can be achieved at the grassroot level.
The South West Legislative Reform Implementation Committee (SLRIC), which comprises of Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo, Ogun and Lagos House of Assemblies had held a maiden meeting in Osogbo on the constitutional amendments, with a view to forming a common front on the autonomy granted the local governments by the National Assembly.
According to Adeyeye, “we are conscious of the political developments in Nigeria and the events that led to the 1976 Local Government Reforms. What had been done since then continues to be a watershed in our polity. The place we are today is contained in Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution that guarantees democratically elected local government administration in Nigeria. Anything short of it is an aberration”.
“Incidentally, Section 8 of the same Constitution invests in the State Assemblies with the powers to legislate on their local governments. Arising from the various abuses of the Joint State Local Government accounts discovered by the National Assembly, we rejoice that the constitution that is to be amended will cure that defect by deleting that provision that continue to short-change the third tier of government,” he remarked.
Adeyeye continued, “Our compatriots at the National Assembly have gone a little further by voting to approve unfettered autonomy for local governments. The present administration at the national and state levels met a separate local government system. If it is allowed to die as it is now at the throws of death, posterity may be too harsh on all of us”.
“It is against this background that that we are calling on all members of the Houses of Assembly converging for this joint South West meeting to support local government autonomy in the interest of peace and good governance. Our union is resolute on this matter and we will continue to monitor those who may attempt to frustrate this patriotic move” he added.