The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has called for an amendment of the constitution to ensure full autonomy for local governments.
His thoughts were contained in his presentation to the 12th Annual Conference of the Chartered Institute of Local Government and Public Administration of Nigeria
Mr Gbajabiamila believes autonomy for local governments is the only way people at the grass roots can get to enjoy the benefits of government.
Correspondent Habidah Lawal reports that in five decades of political independence in Nigeria, local government administration has moved from the colonial styled Local administration to the present unified and standardized system that constitutionally recognizes local government as the third tier of government.
As the third tier of government, local governments are entitled to a statutory allocation of national revenue to enable it carry out specific functions in response to local needs. But lack of autonomy has hindered the third tier of government from carrying out these functions despite constitutional provisions that specify the powers of each level of government in Nigeria
The gathering of Administrators believe Local governments must rise to the task of delivering services at the grassroots and bring governance closer to the people.
The theme of this conference is: “Local government autonomy as the bedrock of rural development.’ and is pushing for autonomy as one of the prerequisites for a smooth running of the local government system.