Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Don't Grant Local Govts Autonomy, Itse Sagay Warns

Chairman, South South Think Tank, PROFESSOR Itse Sagay, has cautioned against autonomy for local governments in the on-going constitutional amendment.

The professor of law, in a goodwill message read at the inaugural forum of the body in Port Harcourt. opined that local government autonomy was incompatible with federalism. He said the amended constitution should rather empower states to create and fund their own local governments all over the country.

"Governments autonomy and federalism are incompatible. Local governments must not feature in any new constitution. States should create and fund a hundred percent their local governments at will."

Meantime, the body in its communiqué released yesterday after a two day deliberation, called for speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, stressing that the law was critical to the development of the oil and gas sector in the country.

The group also noted that the PIB, when passed into law, would promote transparency and accountability in the sector.

The group further urged government to come up with measures to productive engage youths, adding that the unemployment situation was posing serious challenges of kidnapping and other related crimes in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country.

The communiqué also called for a credible selection process among people of the Niger Delta region that would throw up capable leaders for public offices.

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