ActionAid seeks autonomy for local government administration
To ensure inclusive governance and equality in service delivery, Action Aid Nigeria had stressed the need for local government administration to be autonomous and be accountable to the people.
Head of Partnership and Local Right Project, ActionAid Nigeria, Mrs. Suwaiba Yakubu-Jibrin who stated this during a session on ‘Inclusive Development Forum – the role of Community leaders in local governance’, said local government must be autonomous and have resources to work with the people, which would promote the spirit of accountability to the people.
She explained that resources channeled from the Federal Government must get to the council areas, and the local government must be able to identify the needs of the people and work based on the people’s priority, stressing the need to engage and inform the people on the governance process.
She said: “The needs of the people should be duly considered before going into national planning, people need information on how to access services, many people do not understand budget processes.
Yakubu-Jibrin said the traditional rulers would be more engaged if the local government were autonomous because the traditional rulers represent their community and if they are made to understand their role they will be able to contribute to the development of the society.
She said if government must achieve inclusive development, the traditional rulers must be carried along in all aspect of national growth, adding that a study conducted on inequality by Action Aid revealed that there are some people missing out of development not only because of poverty or disabilities, but because the leaders in the community do not understand the meaning of inclusiveness, participatory governance, government plans and how their community can benefit.
She said the traditional rulers are one of the missing links in development process, which is why ActionAid has brought them together.
She lamented that there are lots of gaps in service delivery especially when compared with urban communities as against the rural ones.
Yakubu-Jibrin said the level of infrastructural development in rural areas is very poor and this often force rural farmers to sell their agricultural produce at cheap prices, because they are unable to bring it to the city center.
She said: “For instance in terms of health facilities, many pregnant women are unable to go health centers because of distance, most children are delivered at home and there is no birth registration in most of the rural communities, many rural community cannot benefit from the government social protection program because they do not have ICT where they can register so they are left out”.
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