LGAs Must Be Autonomous, Generate Revenues – Jonathan

LGAs Must Be Autonomous, Generate Revenues, Says Jonathan
Former President Goodluck Jonathan

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan has expressed that there is a need for the autonomy of Local Government Areas.

He called on the National Assembly to make laws that will make LGAs strong, autonomous and generate their revenues.

Jonathan stated that if he were a member of the National Assembly, he would mobilise members to amend sections in the 1999 Constitution that would totally prohibit the appointment of LGA chairman and make the people at the grassroots level decide who leads them through the election.

The ex-President made these remarks on Thursday when the national and state executives of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) paid him a courtesy visit in his country home, Otuoke, Bayelsa State.

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Jonathan said: “The problem with Nigeria is that our local government structure is still very weak. And whatever restructuring we are talking about, finally, Nigerians must sit down to discuss and the issue of LGA autonomy must be considered.

“As long as we have weak local governments, we would have difficulty managing this country. The way it is now, the person who runs the state, runs the LGAs and that makes nonsense of the whole concept of the third tier of government.

“The President should manage the nation, governors should manage the states and chairmen should be allowed to run the local councils.

“And until we are able to do that, it would be difficult to impact the people at the grassroots level. It is only through local councils that the dividends of democracy can permeate uniformly into the society. And all of us must advocate for this right.”