Senate president, Bukola Saraki, has reiterated his support for local government autonomy in the country.
Saraki was quoted in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, as saying this during a visit by the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), led by its National President, Comrade Ibrahim Khalil.
He said that the Senate and the National Assembly appreciate the importance of autonomous governance at the third tier of government and will continue to work towards its realization.
“Here in the Senate and the National Assembly, we appreciate the importance of governance in the third tier of government – the local government. As such, it is very important that we strengthen 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,” he said.
“However, there must be a symbiotic relationship between the states and the local governments to ensure that the third tier of government is not placed at a disadvantage.
“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.”
Earlier, the National President of NULGE, Ibrahim Khalil lamented that local government administrations in the country have been rendered impotent over the years as a result of undue interference.
“Our visit is to rekindle efforts and bring all hands on deck to ensure that Local Governments become autonomous in this country,” Khalil said.