Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The federal government yesterday said financial restrictions faced by the 774 Local government councils in the country was hampering the growth of the third tier of government.
It said the situation has led to frustration and the likelihood of growing discontent in the country.
This came just as the Chairman of the National Association of Chairmen of Local Government Service Commissions, Bawa Sani, advocated the unification of rules and regulations in the local government system in the country and a harmonious working relationship between the working and political class at the grassroots.
Speaking at a 2-day workshop with theme: “Local Government Administration in Nigeria: Reviewing the Trajectories, Trends and Projections in Today’s Economic and Political Realities” organised by the National Association of Chairmen of Local Government Service Commissions, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Zephaniah Jisalo, said the capacity of local government councils to offer crucial services to grassroots communities was hampered by financial restrictions, inadequate infrastructure and lack of autonomy.
“In terms of trends and realities, our local governments have faced a variety of difficulties in the midst of political and economic changes.
“Their capacity to offer crucial services to grassroots communities has been hampered by financial restrictions, inadequate infrastructure and lack of autonomy,” he said.
Jisalo, maintained that the situation had led to frustration amongst the citizens.
“As a result citizens are now frustrated and there is a likelihood that discontent will grow,” he said.
The minister, who was represented by the Director, Intergovernmental Affairs of the ministry, Mrs. Patience Ehujo, said government would revitalise the local government system by promoting empowered autonomy, capacity development, community engagement through frequent town hall meetings, robust implementation mechanism to ensure transparency and accountability in resource allocation and utilisation at the local government level and collaborative partnerships.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the National Association of Chairmen of Local Government Service Commissions, Bawa Sani, has advocated the unification of rules and regulations in the local government system in the country and a harmonious working relationship between the working class and political class at the grassroots.
“We started this forum last year and the essence was to establish a relationship whereby the working class and the political class will come together, exchange ideas and fraternise with one another. It is also a forum where all the directors from all over the country will come together and discuss issues as they concern the civil service.
“With that we can unify the rules and regulations such that what is obtainable in Jigawa, if you got to Bayelsa, you will see the same thing in terms of nomenclature and everything you can think of.
In terms of progression from one level to another among others”, he said.