Senate seeks speedy financial autonomy for local councils
Considers NFIU’s new guideline, CSOs back move
The Senate has passed a motion asking the state houses of assembly, presidency and other relevant stakeholders to hasten the process leading to the granting of financial autonomy to council areas nationwide
During the debate on a motion on the new financial guideline released by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), the Deputy Senate President and Chairman of the Constitution Review Committee, Ike Ekweremadu, urged liaison to avert breaching of the nation’s law book.
He appealed to the state lawmakers to fast-track work on the pending constitutional amendments to give legal backing to the councils’ independence.
The NFIU’s new rule mandates financial institutions to disburse accruable funds directly to the council areas and not for other purposes.
The upper legislative chamber observed that the measure would deepen democracy and enthrone good governance at the grassroots.
The resolution followed the adoption of the motion sponsored by Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North).
However, the move has been welcomed by some civil society groups, including the Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre) and Connected Development (CODE).
Reacting, Chairman of HEDA, Olanrewaju Suraju, stated that the directive was long overdue, adding: “NFIU’s decision to enforce extant provisions of the law against meddling with local government funds is a milestone in the fight against institutionalised corruption.”