NewsOnly Elected Officials Will Control Local Councils’ Resources - Tinubu Welcomes Supreme...

Only Elected Officials Will Control Local Councils’ Resources – Tinubu Welcomes Supreme Court Judgement

July 11, (THEWILL) – President Bola Tinubu has welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, affirming the spirit, intent and purpose of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the statutory rights of local governments, saying the “judgement will ensure that it will be only those local officials elected by the people that will control the resources of the people”.

THEWILL reports that the Supreme Court, on Thursday, granted full financial autonomy and democratic structure of the third tier of government in Nigeria. The apex court, in its judgement, directed that Local Governments’ allocations from the Federation Account should be paid directly to them henceforth.

A seven-member panel of the apex court, led by Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, declared unconstitutional, the act by state governors to hold funds meant for Local Government (LG) administrations. It declared the act a clear violation of Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

The court also declared as unconstitutional the use of caretaker committees by governors for local government administration.

Reacting to the judgement, President Tinubu noted that a fundamental challenge to the nation’s advancement over the years has been ineffective local government administration, as governance at the critical cellular level of socio-political configuration is nearly absent.

The President emphasises that the onus is now on local council leaders to ensure that the broad spectrum of Nigerians living at that level are satisfied that they are benefitting from people-oriented service delivery.

“The Renewed Hope Agenda is about the people of this country, at all levels, irrespective of faith, tribe, gender, political affiliation, or any other artificial line they say exists between us. This country belongs to all of us. By virtue of this judgement, our people – especially the poor – will be able to hold their local leaders to account for their actions and inactions. What is sent to local government accounts will be known, and services must now be provided without excuses.

“My administration instituted this suit because of our unwavering belief that our people must have relief and today’s judgement will ensure that it will be only those local officials elected by the people that will control the resources of the people. This judgement stands as a resounding affirmation that we can use legitimate means of redress to restructure our country and restructure our economy to make Nigeria a better place to live in and a fairer society for all of our people”, the President said.

President Tinubu noted that the provision of some essential amenities and public goods, such as the construction and maintenance of certain roads, streets, street lighting, drains, parks, gardens, open spaces, and other residual responsibilities, including community security, has tottered owing to the emasculation of local governments.

He affirmed that the decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the constitutional rights and ideals of local governments as regards financial autonomy and other salient principles, is of historic significance and further reinforces the effort to enhance Nigeria’s true federal fabric for the development of the entire nation.

The President commended the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), for his diligence and patriotic effort on this important assignment.

He reiterated that his administration remains committed to protecting the principles of the charter governing citizens, institutions of government, arms and tiers of government in furtherance of building an efficient and performance-driven governance system that works for every Nigerian.

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