CSOs, media push for passage of local council autonomy bill

National Assembly Complex Abuja.

The Centre For Leadership Strategy (LSD), civil society organisations (CSOs) and the media in North-West zone yesterday pushed for the passage of the Local Government Autonomy Bill at the state level. They made the call against the backdrop that 24 state assemblies must sanction it before action of the National Assembly could be sought.

The participants recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, in his swearing-in speech, promised to ensure that the third tier of government was independent.

To achieve their objective, the LSD, in partnership with Christian Aid Nigeria, organised the one-day UKAID-funded parley under its Voice to the People (V2P) project in Kaduna to galvanise CSOs and the media in the zone to sustain the momentum.

The centre is also pushing for the passage of the bill at the subnational stage, leveraging on the current constitution review process.

In his remarks, the Programme Director, Monday Osasah, noted that a financially-autonomous local government system that recognises the place of citizens’ participation in decision-making would ensure not just the virility of the councils to deliver services at the grassroots, but also bring about rounded development in the communities nationwide.

He commended the Senate for passing the bill on among other key issues in the ongoing constitution amendment project. Osasah, therefore, enjoined all relevant parties, social media influencers and well-meaning citizens, to sustain the crusade.

He cautioned that the relevant provisions of the bill should not be tampered with, as the federal lawmakers continue with the amendment.

Also speaking, Programme Officer, Governance, Christian Aid Nigeria, Terfa Hemea, reminded the participants on the push works this time around in the interest of the development of the grassroots.

He urged critical stakeholders to impress it on state governors and lawmakers that the financial independence of the councils would be beneficial to all.



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