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Kwara declares support for LG autonomy

  

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara state has thrown his weight behind the move to secure full autonomy for local government areas in Nigeria.

He stated that the position of the state in the ongoing legal proceedings on local government is that the state does not violate any section of the law regarding autonomy. 

“It is my personal belief that each local government should manage its resources and be responsible for its obligations, including wages that are first line charges. I also believe that the state governor should not be held liable if any local government is unable to pay salaries since we do not touch a kobo of their money. 

“We also do not have any joint project accounts with any local government in the state as was the case with the previous administration in our state,” he said.

Chief press secretary to the governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, in a statement quoted the governor to have said: “These are my personal beliefs. But my personal belief is not necessarily the same as the letters of the law, including the provisions of the JAAC, which is a creation of the constitution. As of today, local government allocations are sent to the JAAC as required by the law. Section 162 of the constitution is very clear on this.

“As things stand today, no activity of the local government in Kwara state is at variance with these provisions of the law. Our case in the court is not about my personal belief. It is, we believe, in the defence of the constitution, which created JAAC for reasons that are well-grounded in our experiences as a people. JAAC, in summary pulls resources together to pay all teachers, health workers, traditional rulers and other statutory duties listed in the schedule of the local government areas. If we all want these to change as a national consensus, we believe that the constitution will have to be amended to expunge JAAC.”