LG FINANCIAL AUTONOMY: ALL EYES ON IKORODU LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AS STAKEHOLDERS QUERY 4.3BN ALLOCATION

It will no more be business as usual for those in charge of local government administration at the grassroots level across Nigeria. This follows the decision of the National Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU), an agency of the federal government to start paying local government monthly allocations directly into the respective local government accounts.

Hitherto, monthly allocations of local governments are paid into the joint state allocation accounts, managed by the States, on behalf of the local governments. This account has been identified as the channel through which state governors divert local government funds.

Since the news broke out about a week ago, key stakeholders at the grassroots has been asking serious questions about the allocations to the third tier of government, comparing the huge funds with very negligible projects and impacts made by the Chairmen and their team in recent time.

One local government that has been a subject of discussion by stakeholders is the Ikorodu local government, with its five local council development areas. This is due to the revelation published by Premium Times, which rated Ikorodu LG as one of the 20 top earners of local government funds in Nigeria.

While records from the FAAC shows that the local government have received a total of about N4.3billion in the past one year, stakeholders have raised concerns on how such huge allocation is being used, without any commensurate impact on the local government, in terms of visible infrastructures.

Many pointed out that the, with such mammoth allocation coming to the coffers of Ikorodu local government, those in charge have explanations to make to stakeholders on what they have done with such huge allocations.

Meanwhile, a concerned resident, who pleaded anonymity, accused the state government of arm-twisting the LGA/LCDAs through the joint account allocation committee (JAAC), and as such diverting the LG funds for other purposes beyond what they are constitutionally meant for.

Another source, who also pleaded anonymity, has charged well-meaning stakeholders to show more interest in the local government finances and its management more than ever before, rather than concentrating on State and federal governments alone.

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