LG Autonomy Campaigns Gets More Converts

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Kwara State governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed  has added his voice to the agitations for local government autonomy, noting, however, that such a demand deserves a definitive statement and clarifications.  Global Excellence gathered that the governor, who spoke during a courtesy call on him by the National Vice-President of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Comrade Patrick Igwe in Ilorin said the relationship between the tiers of government is purely guided by the constitution and the stated laws. Gov. Ahmed, who challenged the local government workers to be specific on the areas and aspects where autonomy is demanded in their requests also advocated for a special funding window for education at the basic level to guarantee strong foundation for children at the formative stage. The funding of basic education which according to the governor is currently tied to the local governments, needs to be reviewed as capacity of the local governments to adequately meet the statutory responsibility has in the recent times been challenged due to the dwindling oil revenue. Governor Ahmed, therefore urged the local government councils to strengthen the internally generated revenue platform and record improved revenues that will be used in supporting pensions, gratuities, regular payment of salaries and the provision of basic infrastructures. The Kwara State Internal Revenue (KWIRS) is also according to the governor willing to support the local councils in shoring up revenues and not in any way planning to take over the local government functions. The governor consequently, suggested that LGs in the state should liaise with the revenue body to secure a template that will result in getting the local councils’ IGRs strengthened. Comrade Patrick Igwe in his speech said he was in the state to request the support of the state House of Assembly on the need to pass the bill seeking for the Local Government autonomy.