Enugu: State Governors have been described as the problem confronting Local Government autonomy in Nigeria.
This assertion was made on Wednesday by Prince Ekpere Edegbuo, Senior Program Officer, Social Development Integrated Centre, Social Action while addressing journalists at a one day capacity building workshop on effective service delivery and project development for Local Government officials and media personnel held at Mater Purissima Events Centre, Enugu
According to him, “Only ten out of the twelve states whose Houses of Assembly are debating the domestication of the Local Government Autonomy Law have passed it, including Enugu State.
“So we need fourteen more states to pass it, making two-third of the thirty-six states, for the law to become operational.
On the issue of what would be done if two-third of the states don’t pass it, he said, “Lets be optimistic. This is not the first time that the Law is being passed by the National Assembly. The Governors are the problem.
“Thats why we are fighting it head on. With Local Government Autonomy, there will be no more Joint Account, JAC. Hence, no more free money for Governors. That’s why they are fighting it.
He equally urged citizens and the media to “wake up and add more voice to the campaign for Local Government Autonomy.
Furthermore, he applauded the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE for their enormous collaboration.
Edegbuo had earlier on explained that the workshop was aimed at “Repositioning Local Government officials for efficient delivery of projects to the community and as well strength their capacity to deliver on that mandate since Enugu State has passed it”.
Highlight of the workshop was a break out session, moderated by Mr Sebastian Kpalap, a program officer with Social Action. The participants were split into four teams with each working on the four stages of the Budget process at the Local Government level such as Budget formulation, budget enactment, budget execution and budget monitoring/audit.
Afterwards, the team leader and Secretary of each team presented their reports to the whole house.
In his vote of thanks, Comrade Ugonna Ozor, Executive Director, Rural Economic Development Foundation, RED Foundation and one of the organizers of the event commended participants, especially Local Government officials and members of staff for their sincere and forthright contributions in the course workshop.
He also explained that participants were drawn from Aninri and Enugu South Local Government Areas, being Local Governments where the organization had ongoing projects.