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Group Demands Abolition Of State-Councils Joint Account


INECTo address challenges with operating a joint account between states and Local Councils, as well as, defining the tenure of elected council officials, participants at a two-day technical workshop for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have called for a comprehensive constitutional amendment to address the lacuna in the law establishing local governments.

The workshop with the theme, Effectiveness of state laws and rules of procedure on transparency and accountability, was organised in Lagos by the Human Development Initiatives (HDI) in conjunction with the Public Service Staff Development Centre (PSSDC).

The participants noted that joint accounts have been abused and should therefore be abolished with the local governments given direct access to federal allocation.

They also noted that state electoral commissions should be disbanded and that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) be mandated to conduct all elections, demanding that local councils should practice open governance, which would ensure that all parastatals of governance are transparent, communicate with community members and maintain websites where they publish all incomes and expenditures.

It was also suggested “that the federal government through its GALAXY BACKBONE should ensure widespread usage of its broadband infrastructure in all the 774 Local Council Areas and that all data should be used to create websites for the councils.”

The forum asked for the establishment of commensurate sanctions for violators of the constitution and saboteurs of the Local Council system, while whistle-blowers should be encouraged to expose fraudulent activities in the system, especially taking advantage of the FOI law and social media.
“Internal checks should be conducted; sectional functions should be performed by different officials with the allocation of authority, custody, disbursement and recording in such a way that the work of one person is complementary to, or capable of being proved by the work of another.”

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