Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu
By Aisha Wakaso
Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, Wednesday called for an increase in revenue allocation for Local Government councils.
Aliyu, who stated this in Minna, stated that unless the revenue allocation to the local government was increased from its current 18 per cent, most local government councils will fold up if granted financial autonomy.
Aliyu, who stated this while receiving National officers of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) led by the Chairman, Hon. Ozor Nwabueze Okafor, said financial autonomy would cause more problems for some LGA’s, adding that some will fold up.
“Unless we are able to get the revenue formula changed to the advantage of the local government council, the current 18 per cent for local government and 22 per cent for state government should be increased. If this is not done, the financial autonomy being agitated for will create more problems instead of solving our problems,” he said.
The governor noted that eight local government areas in the state would ‘go under’ if they were given what is due to them, adding that what was preventing the local government councils from collapsing is because the more affluent local government councils are sharing part of their income with the less privileged ones.
“It is important we strengthen the local government level,” Aliyu emphasised.
He therefore, said the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) would study all submissions from the states in respect to the proposed constitution amendment adding that this is to enable them speak with one voice on many of the proposed amendments submitted.
Aliyu said the position of the governors’ would also ensure that unnecessary acrimony and suspicions are removed from the planned amendment of the constitution and make the final document to be acceptable by all Nigerians.
The ALGON National President, Hon. Ozor Nwabueze Okafor, had earlier appealed to the governor to work towards creating a strong local government system that will have the capacity to deliver to the people in the grassroots.
He said this does not mean the local government would be in competition with the state government but to make them to be able to deliver the dividend of democracy to the people at the grassroots.