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What local govt autonomy will do to governors – Senator Gumel

Chairman, Senate Committee on State and Local Government Administration, Senator Abdullahi Gumel, has said local government autonomy will help clip ‘wings of some governors’ and curb corruption.

Gumel, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said the move would help to put state governors, particularly those who used local government funds as slush fund, in check.

He was reacting to the directive by Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), banning governors, banks, financial institutions, public officers and other stakeholders from tampering with statutory allocations of local governments.

Gumel said the directive, having been applauded by Nigerians, was a step in the right direction, particularly in view of allegations of state governors subverting local government funds.

“If the funds of the local government are given to them to carry out their activities there will be more development at the grassroots.

“State governors see local government funds as slush money and they do whatever they want without budgetary processes.

“If we can stop that, a lot of corruption will drastically reduce.

“If local governments have their own funds, the number and quality of staffing will drastically improve, because there are redundant staff at the state and federal level that can be engaged there.

“If the local government is properly funded, people will go back there to be employed. This move will make those at the grassroots to enjoy the dividends of democracy,” he said.

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