There is an underlying tone among many Nigerians that the local government, which is the third arm of government, should be scrapped entirely, with larger and stronger wards adopted as replacements. This is against the background that the local councils, which are the closest governance structure to the people, are totally disconnected from the populace especially at the grassroots in their impact on development. To you, should these councils be scrapped as suggested, or simply rejigged for better performance?
* Local governments are the closest level of officialdom to the grassroots. Why then should they get jettisoned? A man has two children who are 20 years apart. Whenever he tries to give food to the younger child, the older one snatches it and consumes it. After a long while, the younger child looks malnourished. Is the man to liquidate his second child because of this, or consider ways of curbing the older child’s excesses? Your guess is as good as mine. In Nigeria, we should fine-tune and re-jig our local government system, not scrap the whole thing.
– Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, Brainchild Academic Resources, Apo, Abuja
* It will be of benefit if the local governments are re-arranged. We agree that the local government is the third arm of government which is closer to the populace but there is no benefit derived by the populace from the local government, which are demoralised and have deviated from their functions due to state domination. Re-jigging the local governments is absolutely necessary for them to perform optimally.
– Mr. Yusuf Muh’bashir Omotayo, Nda Aliu, Kwara State
* The Local Government is closer to the grassroots and to engender development, they should be fortified and granted full autonomy from the state for effective delivery of social service to Nigerians.
– Ms Nkieruka Abanna, Lagos
* I am one of the campaigners calling for the scrapping of the local governments. They are the worst segment of the government structure, which is not supposed to be so. The people of that locality are expected to feel the presence of government among them through their developments but it’s not so as they are just there for themselves, families and foreign trips. Their allocations when released are shared at midnight when those concerned would come with ghana-must-go bags to pack their shares. I’ll go for the maintaining of the federal and state governments.
– Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna
* No, the local government is the live-wire of the masses. To scrap it is tantamount to summarily depriving people at the grassroots from enjoying true governance and democracy dividend e.t.c. Local government handles revenue drive and generation, education, agriculture, health, infrastructure, and works in tandem with people at the grassroots while also collaborating with the state for growth and development across board. Local governments also handle elections, voting, financing e.t.c. All these make them too relevant to be ignored or scrapped.
– Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State
* Local governments are still relevant; however most major projects done within local governments are financed and executed by state governments. Based on impact on the lives of Nigerians, the local government allocations should remain as they are but at least 20 per cent of the federal share should be given to the states. In other words, we need stronger States, streamlined centre and the local governments to remain as they are. With stronger states in Nigeria, no one will be talking of secession, dissolution or regional governments.
– Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State
* Let us leave the Local governments where they are…half bread is better than none.
– Mr. Sunday Unwana, Lagos State
* Local councils are almost comatose because of the suffocating grips of our emperor-like state governors who see the LGs as their plaything. Scrapping LGs and setting up ‘strong wards’ will only be redefining the problem, not providing a solution. I suggest we grant them full autonomy for 20 years prior to the scrapping. If they don’t perform after that, we can go ahead and scrap them. Most of the states in Nigeria should also be scrapped along with LGs because they are the same.
– Mr. John Ogunsemore, Lagos State
* We are supposed to scrap the States and leave the local government areas for the people.
– Mrs. Moses Adetoun Racheal, Ogun State
* No, instead of the local governments, the states should be scrapped. Let us have six geopolitical zones with 6 ceremonial vice presidents who will supervise the executive operations of the 774 local governments without interfering into their activities. Many of our state governors are not worth more than local government chairman who should be answerable to their communities directly.
– Mr. Olaseni O. Egbeyemi, Lagos State
* It is not the scrapping of the local government; it is not the message but the messenger. There is no transparency; they hijack the funds meant for such local government, no payment of pension and gratuities, salaries, developmental projects like road networks, water supply, drugs in the hospitals, primary health care e.t.c. We actually need amendments to our laws to meet our contemporary challenges or get back to the earlier constitutional conference recommendations to restructure the country.
– Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna
* No, not at all. Scrapping the local government is tantamount to truncating democracy by depriving these masses of their deserving rights unjustly. Grassroots politics best operates at the local government level, which the masses enjoy and wholly depend upon for their livelihood. Can State government really manage the people without any unnecessary stress and distractions? These councils should be re-jigged for better performance rather than outright scrapping.
– Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State
* It will not augur well for our democracy if we scrap local government councils because it is government that is closer to the rural people. What we need now is to re-structure the three tiers of government for chairmen to have access to funds from the federal government allocation rather than the governors who give them peanuts. Local governments have roles to play in rural development. Everything would not be left for the federal or state governments to do.
– Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State
* Local governments should not be scrapped but they need serious rejigging so they can realise they are more responsible to the people at the grassroots rather than their paymasters at the state level. And if the citizens can hold the local government officials accountable, then they will sit up and deliver the dividends of democracy to the people directly, as expected of the organ of government closest to the people.
– Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State
Yes, scrap the LGs: 1
No, re-jig the LGs: 8
Radical tip: Scrap States!
Total no of respondents: 14
Highest location: Lagos (7)
Next Week: Best Devt Lesson/s from the Past?
There is a saying that if mistakes from the past are not corrected, they are bound to happen again. Conversely, positive best practices or lessons learnt from the past are capable of boosting any development process if they are employed in the present situation. From your viewpoint, what best or useful lesson/s can we draw from the various past administrations in Nigeria, in order to enhance the current development situation in the country?
Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (April 13 & Monday, April 17) to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, AND firstname.lastname@example.org. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, April 20