The Center for Peace and Environmental Justice CEPEJ, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his move to grant financial autonomy to local government from June 1st, 2019.
The NGO’s National Coordinator, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, told newsmen in his Ugolo office near Osubi Airport on Thursday that the move was another show of commitment by the President towards creating an enabling environment at the grassroots level. He described the Local Council as the closest government to the grassroots, but lamented inadequate funding and gross mismanagement of allocations at the third tier of government. He said local governments have been made passive and can survive only at the mercy of some State Governors.
He said soliciting for local government autonomy was in line with the yearning and aspirations of millions of democracy lovers across the country, adding that
local councils would be able to carry out their constitutional responsibilities without undue external interference.
Comrade Mulade noted that granting financial autonomy to local governments across the country would fast-track socio-economic development at the grassroots.
The CEPEJ Coordinator also suggested that the local governments need to be checked by the federal government by introducing an electronic budget defense which will enable the local councils to submit and follow up with some questions for ratification. He advised the federal government to appoint financial representatives across the 36 States to defend the budgets of their respective local governments.
The NGO’s boss also called on all advocacy bodies, agencies, media organizations, CBOs and NGOs to help enlighten the citizens so that they can develop critical minds and interests in governance, especially at the grassroots level. He noted that the move by President Buhari might create warlords in most LGAs due to the high level of illiteracy and lack of patriotism by many local government administrators.