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Makinde Faults Composition Of Nigeria’s 774 LGs

Makinde Faults Composition Of Nigeria’s 774 LGs

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has identified faulty composition of the 774 local government areas in the country as a factor militating against the full realization of autonomy for the councils in the country.

The governor who spoke at the stakeholders’ engagement on the 2024 budget organized by the state ministry of budget and planning, held at the University of Ibadan, said addressing this was the only condition for local government autonomy could get his backing. He added that council autonomy would only get his support if states were constitutionally allowed to determine their own numbers of council areas.

Makinde who described the current arrangement where 774 local government areas were stipulated in the constitution as fraudulent, said he was never at any time against council autonomy but that many things were wrong with the current arrangement.

He explained what he described as creative ways to manage the state’s funds with regards to how the funds that accrue to the local government areas were being managed.

Makinde said: “I have seen people ask where we get money in Oyo State. The local government chairmen are here. I did an analysis for them. During the debate held ahead of the last election, I was asked if I was supporting local government autonomy and I said no.

“I am in full support of that tier of government but what we have at this point in time is fraudulent. Why will you have 774 local government areas stipulated in the constitution of Nigeria? What is the point?

“I said I will support local government autonomy if you allow Oyo State, for instance, to decide if it wants to have 80 local government areas. We are just able to do it. I will support that fully but not under this current arrangement.

“We are only talking about federal allocation, how about baking a bigger cake so that we can do more even at the level of government for our people. I said to them. Before now, you get about N7 billion from the federal allocation. If you remove first line charges, it’s about N5.3 billion, you may have about N1.6 billion, N1.7billion. We then said, let’s do a flat deduction of N10 million per council for security, that is N330 million.

“So you have N1.4 billion, N1.5 billion left. If I divide that into 33 local government areas, that is between N20 million and N40 million to go to each council monthly. “They said I handicapped them because that N30 million, N40 million does not come to them. In our wisdom, we said when we have serious issues in local councils, how do we tackle them? As we were having that discussion, Akesan market got burnt and we needed about N800 million to rebuild it.

“If I was giving local government areas N40 million, without doing anything per month, they would use half of our tenure to raise the money for rebuilding the Akesan market. But, because we were creative, we said it is still your money and you are the one to spend it but I gave space for contingency projects.” (leadership.ng)

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