Don advocates partial autonomy for local councils
A university Don, Professor Sam Ugwu, has advocated partial autonomy for local government councils in the country, based on the fact that most councils cannot survive without federal allocations.
Ugwu, who is the dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), made the proposal in his lecture delivered at the 25th Inaugural lecture of ESUT, which held same day the South East caucus of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), protested in Enugu.
The union was demanding, among other perks, that political autonomy be granted to all the 774 local government councils in Nigeria.But Ugwu, a professor of political science, contended that granting a good measure of fiscal autonomy to local governments would enable them effectively tackle the task of rural development.
He also recommended that state and local government Joint Account Committee (SLGJAC), should comprise council chairmen, but with strict oversight by the Audit and Inspectorate units established by the constitution for local governments.
Prof. Ugwu, who was a former chairman of Isi-Uzo local council of Enugu State, said: “Local governments are merely administrative units and centres for development. In other words, the issue of whether local government should be autonomus or not should rather be located within the context of local governments’ relationships with states.”
He noted, however, that “it would be fatal for local governments to have autonomy without meriting it,” maintaining that what local governments need are devolution of powers and relative autonomy.
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