The National Association of Local Government Service Commissions in Nigeria (NALGSC) has denounced the predominant influence of state governments in the administration of local governments, calling for the urgent abolition of the current joint account system.
The association also called for the establishment of peer review mechanisms among local government councils in the federation, using the Mo Ibrahim Governance Index (MGI).
These were among the recommendations made by the association after a three-day workshop in Abuja.
The workshop, which brought together the chairpersons of State Service Commissions nationwide, was declared open by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
Other dignitaries at the well-attended event were the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Dr. George Akume, as well as Benue and Nasarawa State Governors, Dr. Samuel Ortom and Engr. Sule respectively.
The recommendations, which were part of the communiqué, include: better funding for local government councils; the granting of financial autonomy to local governments and a revision of the 1999 Constitution to remove constitutional ambiguities that state assemblies continue to legislate for local government councils when the third level of government has its elected legislatures .
The statement was jointly signed by the National Chairman of the Association, Dr. Bemsen Melladu, Chairman of Benue State Local Government Services Commission and Hon. (Dr) Aderemi Ayodele.
In a conversation with journalists after the workshop, Melladu conveyed the purpose of the workshop by highlighting the quality of its recommendations.
His words: “Some of the appeals emanating from this workshop are critical to the success of local government in Nigeria.
“For example, we recommended that the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs accelerate the institutionalization of the National Council of Local Government Administration for the aggregation and harmonization of policies and programs at the third level of governance.”
“This will have a huge impact on the quality and efficiency of local government.
“Another good point is the recommendation to the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs to liaise with the local government service commissions with a view to harmonizing the service regime, service conditions and adequate arrangements so that the third level of government take effective responsibility for security at the local level,” he added.