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Former Nigerian president calls for local govt self-sufficiency

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Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has called for the strengthening of the local government, as the third tier of government in Nigeria.

Speaking when he received members of the Friends of Democracy group at his residence in the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital on Monday, 12 November 2018, Obasanjo noted that the current practice has continued to hamper real development at the grassroots.

According to him, people at the grassroots are better served if the local government is strengthened.

“The Local Government is meant to be autonomous from the state government. What has happened from the briefing I have received from you and what we know is that by design, most states have incapacitated the local government. They have virtually stolen their money. And what they call joint account, they were to contribute 10 percent which they never contributed.”

“What has come from the state governments have been appropriated by them, so what we have in most parts of the country is a local government that has functions, but cannot perform the function,” he said.

Local media reports quoted Obasanjo as saying that only nine states, so far, have signed the Local Government Autonomy bill, which requires the signature of 24 states before it is passed into law.

He, therefore, called on the states, which have not signed the bill, to do so in the interest of development.

– APA

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