The Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) has advocated for full legislative powers to be given to the legislative arm of the local government. Mr Ezekiel Vulgap, Plateau ALGON Chairman, made the position known in an interview with newsmen on Thursday in Jos after submitting the ALGON memorandum to the Senate Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution.
Vulgap, who is the Chairman of Mikang Local Government, Plateau, said what was obtainable at federal and state legislatures should be replicated in the local government legislatures. “We want such powers to legislate on matters that affect local governments. They should be given full legislative powers without interference. “As it stands today, after legislating at that level, they have to take their submission to State House of Assembly for approval, which is not proper. “If it is an arm of government at that level, it should be allowed that whatever decision or laws made by that tier of government should be concluded there without taking it up.
“Except in the case of domestication of whatever is obtained at federal and state levels, they can legislate and domesticate at the local government level,” he said. The chairman further said that ALGON wanted full administrative and financial autonomy to local governments in Nigeria.
He also called for increase in the monthly allocation to local governments, stating that the Federal Government announced increase in minimum wage without corresponding increase or review of the sharing formula. According to him, even before the increase of salaries of workers, ALGON had been agitating for increase of allocation, saying it was one of the things that were submitted.
“In my opinion, the local government should take the highest percentage, because that is the most important and critical tier of government. “It is unfortunate that local governments are the ones receiving the least allocation, but in the developed climes, issues that are handled by local governments are more than those of any tier of government. “Unfortunately, this is the most neglected tier of government, here. “The issue of security for example, you cannot get it right without paying attention to local governments. “If you empower the local governments, they will have the manpower, the resources to ensure that there is security in each of the 774 local government areas,” he said. (NAN)