There’s Nothing Wrong In Granting LG Autonomy – Ortom
Governor Samuel Ortom and the 23 local government chairmen in Benue State have endorsed the proposed local government autonomy by the National Assembly in the ongoing constitutional amendment.
Governor Ortom adopted this position at a workshop organised for stakeholders and management of local government system for effective service delivery and good governance in the state.
He was represented by his deputy, Mr Benson Abounu, at the three-day induction workshop for the newly elected local government officials from the 23 local governments in the state.
The governor described the local government autonomy as a veritable tool for good governance but noted that it must granted within the confines of the Constitution.
“Well, to the extent that they can provide good governance to the people, there is nothing wrong with granting them autonomy. But the autonomy must be granted within the confines of the Constitution and in the wisdom of the members of the National Assembly.
“If they decide that they should be granted full autonomy, off course the nation must be told why. They must give their reasons and changing the Constitution is not an easy thing; you have to ask for the opinion of the public and I do believe that whatever should be done, in order to give correct and adequate governance to the people, ought to be done”, he added.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Titus Zam, also stressed the need to effectively reposition the system for optimum service delivery.
He said: “In Benue State, the local government system inherited by the Ortom administration is clearly not in a position to serve as a vehicle for rural transformation of our rural communities where 70% of our population resides”.
“This induction workshop is, therefore, one of the several efforts of the Ortom administration to salvage the local government system and position it as the third tier of government, capable of complementing the developmental agenda of the Ortom administration as envisaged in his economic blueprint.”
On his part, the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State Mr Abba Yaro asked the newly elected chairmen to ensure good governance always.
He said: “The APC manifesto has placed so much premium on accountability, good governance and transparency and I think the way to go is to allow every tier of government some level of independence so that checks and balances can take centre stage. So, it is a welcome development and we are fully behind the amendment”.
The leadership of the Association of Local Government of Nigerian (ALGON) had told Channels Television that the local government autonomy was long overdue for the purposes of transparency and accountability to the rural dwellers.
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