A Member of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Garba Datti, has advised state governors not to prevent local government Areas from becoming autonomous.
Datti (CPC-Kaduna) gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
He said if local governments were autonomous, the funds allocated to the councils would no longer be diverted by some governors.
“Some of the state governors used local government funds to embark on personal projects.
“The activities of some governors necessitated the need for the House of Representatives to amend the constitution in such a way as to grant local government councils the autonomy they deserve,” he said.
Datti alleged that on some occasions, governors were in the habit of releasing money to the councils for personnel and overhead cost only while the remaining funds were used for political purposes.
“The joint account between the state and the local governments is a big joke as it has been bastardised by the state governors.
“If the joint account is meaningful to the local governments, majority of the governors will not be rejecting the proposed autonomy for local councils. There is something fishy,” he said.
Datti, however, advised state assemblies not to be rubber stamps in the hands of their governors.
He urged them to desist from taking directives that would not lead to the development of their councils.
He said that majority of the state assemblies lacked the political will to amend the constitution in such a way that would lead to the economic development of their states.
He said the assemblies only voted for those things that would serve the “whims and caprices'' of their governors.
Datti advised the governors not to work against the amendment of the constitution that would grant local government autonomy by being clogs in the wheel of progress of the societies.
On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the legislator said he was not in support of the provision of fund for the host community in the bill.
He said that the 13 per cent derivation given to state governments should be given to the host communities.
“I am not totally against the host communities fund.
“But the experience we have had in the past with the 13 per cent derivation given to the state governments was not palatable.
“The fund should instead be given to the host communities,'' he said.