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Saraki: Local governments should have autonomy

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Nigeria’s Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki has thrown his weight behind local government autonomy in Nigeria.

The senate president voiced his support while playing host to the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) led by its National President, Comrade Ibrahim Khalil in Abuja.

Saraki in a statement through his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu said as the third tier of government in Nigeria, it is very important that Nigeria strengthens its local government administration.

“Part of strengthening local government administration is ensuring that there is autonomy. I also believe that strengthening local government administration means that we all do our best to increase the capacity at the local government.

“Sometimes, you find out that in developed countries, people who are competent, to contest at a level even as high as the Senate, would tell you that they don’t want to be at the Federal level like Abuja or Washington, they prefer to stay at the local level”.

“It is unfortunate that you observed that in the last Constitution alteration exercise, we were not successful on this issue. Being a former Governor, the Senate Leader always reminds me that ‘I have seen the light.’ But on a serious note, we all have a role to play to strengthen our local government system.

“It is important that we see how local governments can be independent, how local governments can have more autonomy, and Governors cannot interfere with what is due to local governments.

“In all of this, there must still be a cordial and symbiotic relationship. If we just say that local governments should just be on their own, it might have some disadvantages,” he said.

The senate president also said it ws paramount the country  ensure that local governments have funding of their own without any interference.

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