It’s time for local govt autonomy – Jonathan


Former president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has urged the National Assembly to make local governments autonomous.

According to him, they should be vested with powers to generate revenues.

Jonathan claimed if he were a member of the National Assembly, he would mobilise members to amend sections of the 1999 Construction that would prohibit the appointment of local government chairmen.

He stated this when the national and state executives of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) visited him in Otuoke, his Bayelsa State country home.

Jonathan said: “The problem with Nigeria is that our local government structure is still very weak.

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“Whatever restructuring we are talking about, finally, Nigerians must sit down to discuss and the issue of LGA autonomy must be considered.

“As long as we have weak local governments, we would have difficulty managing this country.

“The way it is now, the person who runs the state, runs the LGAs and that makes nonsense of the whole concept of the third tier of government.

“The President should manage the nation; governors should manage the states and chairmen should be allowed to run the local councils.

“Until we can do that, it would be difficult to impact the people at the grassroots level.

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“It is only through local councils that the dividends of democracy can permeate uniformly into the society. And all of us must advocate for this right.”

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