NFIU initiative will halt looting of council funds, boost autonomy, says NULGE
The regulation of arbitrary withdrawals of local government funds by state governments from the joint local government/state joint accounts by the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) would reduce looting of council finances, the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), has said.
The President of NULGE, Ibrahim Khaleel, who stated this in Abuja, lauded the unit for taking the step. Khaleel also commended the new guidelines saying it is giant step towards granting financial autonomy to the councils.He said state governors have over the years frustrated development at the grassroots by refusing to allow financial autonomy for local government councils.
He said: “Our union and the entire leadership and membership of NULGE across the 774 Local government in the federation fully welcome the bold action of the Federal Government in coming up with these measures. We are convinced will put a substantial halt to the hemorrhage of local government finances, which has over the years been flagrantly abused by state governors and their collaborators.”
Khaleel said the NULGE would work with the relevant agencies of the Federal Government to ensure the successful implementation of the guidelines.He vowed that the union will train its members across the length and breadth of the country to keep an eagle eye on the operations of the funds going to local government councils henceforth.He said the step would ensure that flagrant abuse of the system is stopped.
He added: “We wish to commend Mr President and commander-in-chief of the Armed forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, for sanctioning these guidelines. This has renewed our faith in the anti-corruption fight of the present government.
“We call on all Nigerians to renew their support for the fight against corruption by the current government, so that as a nation we can move forward and use our resources for the growth and development of our people.
“Going forward, we call on all political parties to put forward credible and capable Nigerians to run for political offices in our local government system so that they can deploy their talents to run functional and credible government at the grassroots level. In our history as a nation, this has happened before. We believe with the appropriate change in the mindset of our political elites, this can be rekindled and our local government system will once again be an agency for local and grassroots development.”