24 November 2012

Nigeria: Governors Vow to Kill Autonomy for Local Government

GOVERNORS in the country have vowed to kill any move to grant autonomy to local governments in the country.

Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum, governor Chibuike Amaechi who spoke yesterday at Government House, Port Harcourt when the House of Representatives Committee on Youth and Social Development visited said governors would not support any effort to accord local government a federating status in the constitution.

"There are only two federating units in most countries in the world .... In Germany, there are two federating units. In America, there are local governments but there are only two federating units - the states and the federal government.

The local counties (or what we call councils) are not part of the federating unit. So I want to urge the National Assembly to disregard this talk of autonomy for Local Government Councils that would make the Councils one of the federating units. We will not support it. Governors will not support

Continuing, the governor urged the National Assembly to ensure only two federating units are created by the constitution

He further called for a constitution that would see the federal government shed off more of its responsibilities to state governments.

He said at the moment, the federal government was carrying too much, adding that the excess load was affecting its successes in most areas.

The governor who noted the achievement of the federal government in several areas said more could have been recorded if most of the responsibilities being handled by the government were constitutionally assigned to state governments.

"The Federal Government is making the state governors not to keep to their responsibilities to their states. We are carrying too many responsibilities that belong to the federal government. Like for instance, it is not our (state) responsibility to take care of the NYSC but I would renovate the current NYSC camp in Onne, Rivers State and build more hostels. This is not my responsibility or that of any State governor. It is the responsibility of the federal government."

"You can see why we are talking about devolution of power, that the federal government appears to be taking too many functions and some of them, I am not saying they are not discharging properly but they are not able to meet all of them because they are too many."

Earlier, Hon. Kamil Akinlabi Mudashiru, Chairman of the House Committee on Youth and Social Development said they were in the state to see the State NYSC Camp. He thanked the Rivers State Governor for meeting the needs of serving Youth Corps members in the state.

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