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Legal practitioner advocates restructuring of LGs



Legal practitioner advocates restructuring of LGs

A former Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Douglas Ogbankwa, has advocated a restructuring of the nation’s Local Governments (LGs) to become autonomous and enhance efficiency.

Ogbankwa spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday on ways to enhance the administration of LGs in Nigeria.

“If the LGs are made autonomous, it will preclude the current practice of local governments being viewed as mere agencies of state government,’’ he added.

He commended the Senate for accepting actual autonomy for LGs and giving the Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC) powers to conduct LGs elections.

Ogbankwa, however, said that the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters should be scrapped.

He pointed out that such matters are local and should be left to the exclusive purview of the local government councils.

Legal practitioner advocates restructuring of LGs

“The structure of political parties should be made functional at local government level and the current practice, where LGs executives of parties are mere list compiling bodies, should be jettisoned.

“This is to allow local politics to thrive.’’

According to him, local issues requires local knowledge.

He said that there must be an arrangement, where it will no longer be possible for governors to appoint caretaker committees to run the affairs of local governments LGs.

“The local government cycle must be continuous and ascertainable to encourage sustainable development and engender inclusiveness in our polity.

“In this regard, there should be a fixed tenure of office for the chairmen, which should not be interfered with by governors.

“There should also be a legislation to stop wanton dismissal of LG chairmen,’’ NAN quotes Ogbankwa as saying.

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