ESUT Don recommends partial autonomy for LGs
The Dean faculty of Social Sciences, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, ESUT, Prof Sam Ugwu, has proposed that partial autonomy be granted to local government councils in Nigeria.Ugwu’s proposal articulated in his 25th Inaugural lecture of ESUT came same day that the South East Caucus of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees,( NULGE), protested in Enugu, demanding that political autonomy be granted to all the 774 local government areas in Nigeria.
Prof. Ugwu said his proposal for local government partial autonomy was anchored on lack of councils’ financial autonomy, noting that without federation allocations most LGs would have ceased to exist.
Ugwu, a Professor of political Science and former Chairman of Isi-Uzo local government council in Enugu state, at the inaugural lecture stated that granting a good measure of fisical autonomy to local governments will enable them carry out effectively, the task of rural development.
Dwelling on the lecture topic “Local Government Autonomy in Nigeria: Isuues and constraits,” Prof Ugwu recommended that LGs should have direct and unfettered access to statutory allocations fron the federation account and their share of the Internally Generated Revenues, (IGR), from their states.
He also recommended that Joint Account Committee, JAC, should be made up of local government chairmen only with strict oversight functions by the Audit and Inspectorate units established by the constitution for local governments.
“Local governments are merely administrative units and centres for development. In other words, the issue of whether local government should be autonomous should rather be located within the context of local governments’ relationships with state.
“It would be fatal to local governments if they have autonomy without meriting it. What the local governments need are devolution of powers and relative autonomy. This can be addressed through constitutional amendments as in progress in the National Assembly,” Ugwu recommended.