The two factions of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) have rejected the national assembly’s proposal granting autonomy to local governments.
In separate reactions, the two factions, led by Rotimi Amaechi, governor of Rivers state, and Jonah Jang, governor of Plateau state, said the proposed autonomy for local governments in the country was not in line with the operation of a federal system.
During the amendment to the constitution, the senate and house of representatives granted 774 local government councils in Nigeria financial and administrative autonomy through amendment of Section 7.
The national assembly had said the autonomy was meant to strengthen the administration of the local government councils by making provisions for their funding, tenure and elections, while also delineating their powers and responsibilities to protect them from undue and counterproductive interference from state governments. It said it would also ensure effective service delivery.
Reacting to the proposed autonomy through Asishana Okauru, its director-general, the Amaechi-led faction maintained that the body would not change its opposition on the issue.
Similarly, Jang’s faction of the NGF resolved to mobilise lawmakers in their respective states against the amendment.
Earl Osaro Onaiwu, secretary of Jang’s faction released a statement to say the governors “differed with the national assembly over the move to amend the constitution and grant local governments full administrative and financial autonomy”.
“The push for local government autonomy by the national assembly was hasty without first considering the problems of executive recklessness and ineffective administration at the local level,” he said.
The governors were confident that majority of the state houses of assembly would reject the proposal.