Ibadan—A former Chief of Staff to Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and Visiting Professor of Political Science at Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, Adeolu Akande, has advocated local government autonomy as the panacea to the problem of local government administration in the country.
Akande, who was a guest on a television programme monitored in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, at the weekend, said local governments in the country have failed to achieve the objective of grassroots development because of three factors.
He listed the factors as lack of autonomy, lack of direct financial allocation from the federation account and failure to elect local government councils, explaining that the three factors boil down to the issue of local government autonomy.
“Local government councils will be accountable to their people if they are elected. Caretaker committees are only accountable to their appointing autorities,” he said, explaining that it is when a government is accountable to the people that it is motivated to perform to the expectation of the people.
He said the failure to make direct financial allocation to local councils also inhibit their performance.
”The Joint State-Local government account system denies local councils the opportunity to determine projects that are relevant to their people. The situation where state governments award uniform projects for all local government areas is a negation of the principle of grassroots development that undergirds the creation of local councils as third tier of government,” he said.
He advised that the Joint State-Local Government account should be abolished while administrative guidelines are stipulated for the payment of teachers and other workers’ salaries as first line charge on local government accounts.