Politics

June 18, 2024

LG autonomy: We’ll await Supreme Court’s decision, says Senate

Senate

By John Alechenu

The Senate has said it would await the decision of the Supreme Court on the contentious issue of local government autonomy before fashioning out the way forward by taking a fresh look at existing laws.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Yemi Adaramodu, said this in an interview in Abuja yesterday.

He explained that the upper chamber of the National Assembly was currently constrained and was not in a position to present an opinion until the Supreme Court made a pronouncement.

Adaramodu, however,  noted that there was a time in the nation’s history when local governments were largely autonomous but noted that a time came when those at the helm of affairs saw things differently.

He noted that some people had raised concerns about the revenue allocation formula via-a-vis the issue of equity among other issues.

The Senate spokesman said:  “We might not be able to say much about it (LG authonomy) but then, we are talking about distributiing funds to local governments.

“There are indices that inform the distribution of funds to local governments. Equality, land mass, social indices. So, when we talk about one of seven of the schools in Akure, that’s social indices. That is where they indicate how many hospitals.

“How many dispensaries? How many primary schools? How many junior secondary schools? Then population. So they distribute based on that. ‘So, definitely there’s a local government that has only one primary school, and there’s another one that has 37 primary schools that are not going to get the same thing because of that formula. So just for education.

“But for local government autonomy, we’ll not discuss further until the Supreme Court rules accordingly.  When the Supreme Court rules, then the National Assembly will know where to take it from , whatever the ruling is.”