Monday, December 26, 2011

State Governors and LG’s allocations

State Governors and LG’s allocations

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its economic report for the third quarter of 2011 announced that the total receipts by the 774 LG councils from the Federation and VAT pool Accounts for the period of July, August and September was N493.77 billion. The question is does this money actually reach the local government councils. The answer is No. Media report indicated how allocations to LGAs’ were been high jacked by state governors, used for electioneering campaigns, shared among traditional rulers, political God-fathers, members of state assemblies or out rightly diverted to non-exiting projects.

The latest criminal fad now is state governors redistribute allocations to LG from the federation account and give less than N20 million to each council to pay salaries, and take care of their overhead costs.

In his memo to Nigerians, Hon. Felix Akhabue, National President of Association of local government of Nigeria ALGON, said, ‘A situation where allocations already made to the local governments by the Federation Allocation Account Committee (FAAC) are subjected to redistribution by the state government is a clear breach of the constitution. The question is can the federal government police funds disbursed to the state governments from federation account. The answer is a clear NO. Then where does the state derive the legal and moral backing to do the same to local governments. Statutory allocations to each tier of government should be sacrosanct; it is only by being so that you can hold that tier of government responsible and accountable’.

If we are to reposition our councils for effective services delivery to the people, eradicate poverty, provide infrastructure, the constitution should be amended to stop meddling with council finances by the states.

•Jeff Nkwocha
LG Study Network
Warri Delta state

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