LG Autonomy: We need transparency to utilise resources for our people, says Soludo

Kunle Sanni

Governor Chukuma Soludo of Anambra State has urged both the state and federal governments to increase transparency at all levels of government.

He stated that such measures are essential for the efficient utilization of public resources, ultimately alleviating the burden on the common man.

Soludo made these remarks while briefing State House reporters on Thursday at the presidential villa in Abuja.

He said, “But at a fundamental level, yes, we need resources to get down to the real grassroot and we need the people’s money to work for them at all levels, whether at the federal or the state and the local government.

“We need to promote accountability. We need to promote transparency in the utilization of public resources at all levels, to be able to lift the burden of the common man.

His comment comes against the backdrop of the recent Supreme Court ruling that the federal government should henceforth pay allocations directly to local government councils from the federation account.

Delivering judgment in the suit on Thursday, a seven-member panel of justices held that state governments have continued to abuse their powers by retaining and using the funds meant for LGAs.

The apex court also ordered the federal government to withhold allocations of LGs governed by unelected officials appointed by the governor.

WESTERN POST Online had reported President Bola Tinubu described the recent ruling by the Apex Court as welcoming. He said the decision affirms the spirit, intent, and purpose of the Constitution of Nigeria on the statutory rights of local governments.

Also speaking on the ruling, Soludo said he believes in the rule of law and disclosed that members of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum would be meeting to review the matter.

Speaking on the situation of his state with no elected local government chairperson, the Anambra State governor admitted that his state is yet to conduct a local government election in about eleven years.

“Well, we will certainly. I mean when I was elected in office, that’s one of the things I promised our people because in Anambra, we haven’t had, to be honest with you, I think the first local government election we had was in 1998 or something thereabout and then the next one was in 2014 or 2013. And that was it. I mean, finished one and a half years or two years thereabout and even the institutions the place is quiet, not strengthened.

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