Gyang Bere, Jos
The Chairman of the Association of Local Government In Nigeria (ALGON), Plateau State, Hon. Ezekiel Volgap, says the 17 Local Government Councils in Plateau State have experienced accelerated develompent since becoming financially autonomous as directed by Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).
He noted that rural communities in Nigeria will witness impressive develompent with Local Governments autonomy.
Hon. Volgap, who is Chairman of Mikang Local Government Area, disclosed this during an interview with reporters in Jos, and called on the 36 states Houses of Assembly to give support for Local Government autonomy.
“I can tell you that we have speedy develompent in the 17 Local Government Areas of Plateau State because we have financial autonomy, but it is not what people are saying that our money comes directly from the federation account; no,” he said.
“It goes through the State-Local Government account for onward distribution to the 17 Local Government Areas. But with the NFIU, the money comes to the joint account without any deductions and goes straight to variouss Local Government Areas.”
Hon. Volgap expressed displeasure that only six states Houses of Assembly in the country have adopted the bill passed by the National Assembly granting full autonomy to local government areas.
He dismissed concerns that if granted full autonomy, local government chairmen would mismanage public funds to the detriment of the rural citizens.
“Local Government autonomy is very important, there is need for all stakeholders to have it done. We are appealing to to various state Houses of Assembly that the only way develompent can get to the grassroot and for someone to be held responsible is for them, in the interest of the nation, to give local governments full autonomy.
“If autonomy is given to local government councils, it will help create jobs for the rural dwellers, and it will also curtail the menace of mass migration of citizens to urban areas.
“There will be judicious use of public funds by local government chairmen; the autonomy will in no small measure facilitate lots of commercial activities for the rural people, who may likely abandon mass migration to urban areas in search of jobs,” he explained.