BY: ONOME AMUGE
The House of Representatives has passed the bill granting full financial and administrative autonomy to the 774 local government councils across the federation.
The development follows an electronic voting system during plenary which saw 92 out of 109 members vote in support of financial autonomy to the Local Government Areas (LGAs), while 88 voted to pass administrative autonomy of the LGAs.
The bill, part of the 68 proposed amendments to the Nigerian constitution, seeks to nullify the state/local government joint account and provide for a special account where all expected allocations from the federation account and state governments will be paid directly to the local governments councils.
According to the bill sponsored by Mansur Manu Soro, the member representing Darazo/Ganjuwa Constituency of Bauchi State, each local government council will create and maintain its own special account to be called Local Government Allocation Account into which all the allocations will be paid.
The legislation also mandates each state to pay to local government councils in its area of jurisdiction such proportion of its internally generated revenue on such terms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the House of Assembly.