A governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State, Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim Ajia, has advocated full autonomy for local government administration in the country.
Ajia said the third tier of government must be strengthened to be able to function efficiently and in turn discharge its responsibility to the people at the grass root.
He stated this while addressing Journalists on the sidelines of a summit of Kwara Youth Stakeholders Forum held in Ilorin at the weekend, ROYAL NEWS reports.
As a measure to curb diversion of public fund when granted autonomy, the governorship hopeful urged the government to institutionalise a robust system that would check activities at the council level.
He observed that undue interference in the running of local government administration would discourage restiveness and provide employment opportunities for teeming youths.
The PDP gubernatorial aspirant warned that the nation would not make the desired turnaround in addressing her problems if it failed to autonomise council administration.
Ajia, who is the founder, Mohammed Ajia Ibrahim Foundation, stressed the need to develop the youths, describing them as only option to galvanise development in the country.
“What we are talking about is to develop the youths. The youths are the only option to develop the state and even Nigeria as a whole. As part of programmes of my foundation, our key objective is the youth empowerment
“It is unfortunate that the incident in Offa, of recent, was perpetrated by youths, and majority of them are even from Kwara State. So, it is quite worrisome situation. That is why we have to do more and also encourage the government to create enough empowerment for the youths, because without government, no individual can do it alone.
“So, the youths must be the major focus, empower them and there are ways to go about this whole thing. Like I suggested earlier, if the government is determined to end youth restiveness, it should create a local government autonomy system. When that is done, you are creating fund, you are creating employment in all the 16 Local Governments, activities will be going on, everybody will be involved and crime will reduce.
“We need to strengthen our local government system, we must give them that full autonomy, they must take charge of their resources and use it rightly. What the government can do now is put up a robust monitoring system that would ensure that their fund is used judiciously so that there wouldn’t be any form of diversion. Without this, we will continue to turn around without solving any problem”, Ajia said.
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