By Clement Adedeji
Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has lend his voice for agitation on local government autonomy saying such calls deserve a definitive statement.
Speaking during a courtesy call on him by the National Vice-President of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Comrade Patrick Igwe at Government House, Ilorin, the governor said “relationship between arms of government is purely guided by the constitution and the laws of the state”.
Gov Ahmed, who challenged local government workers to be specific on areas for autonomy or restructuring in their demands, advocated for a special funding window for education at the basic level to guarantee strong foundation for children at formative level.
According to the governor, “funding of basic education currently tied to the local governments needs to be reviewed as capacity of local governments to adequately meet this statutory responsibility has recently been challenged as a result of dwindling national resources”.
Governor Ahmed urged Local government councils to stimulate their internally generated revenue platform to improve their revenues to support pensions, gratuities, regular payment of salaries and basic infrastructure in their areas.
Governor Ahmed said Kwara State Internal Revenue (KWIRS) is ready to support the local councils to drive revenue and not to take over their function, stating that LGs in the state should liaise with the revenue body as a way to reinvigorate their IGR.
Earlier, the National Vice-Chairman of NULGE, Comrade Patrick Igwe said he was in the state to appeal for support of the state House of Assembly on the need to pass the bill on Local Government autonomy.
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