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Atiku Reveals How Governors Kicked Against Direct Allocation Of Funds To LGs During OBJ’s Tenure

 

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The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has claimed that governors protested against direct allocation to local governments during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.

Naija News reports that Atiku, who was the Vice President to Obasanjo between 1999 to 2007, made the claim at the Arise TV town hall meeting on Sunday in Abuja.

The PDP flag bearer said when he assumed office in 1999, the local government administration was handed over to him to oversee, and he gave instructions to the Accountant General that all local government allocations should be transferred to the local governments straight.

Atiku alleged that state governors used constitutional loopholes to stop the direct allocation of funds to local government.

He said Nigeria has the 1999 Constitution needs to be amended for the local government to function properly and to get funding for the third tier government.

Atiku stated that the local government began to have problems when the councils started getting their funding through the state joint accounts.

He said: “When I assumed office in 1999, what was handed over to me was the local government administration. When it was handed over to me, I gave instructions to the accountant general that all local government allocations should be transferred to the local governments straight. After implementing that policy for nine months, the governors protested that that was not constitutional.

“So we looked at the constitution, and they said there was supposed to be a joint account at the state level where local government funds should be transferred and also the state government was supposed to put a certain percentage of their revenue into that account, and it (the local government funds) was then moved to that joint account.

“Then, the local governments started getting their funding through the state joint accounts and that is where we have problems. In that process, some state governments started taking part in the local government finances.

“Some said they were going to run universities with the state governments, some said local governments should contribute to certain projects in the state.

“At the end of the day, the funds were being depleted and the local governments were left with no funding, and in fact, it has gone to virtually nothing now.

“We must look at the laws and see how we can make these local governments independent and protect them when funds are sent from the federal government. I think there’s a major flaw in our laws regarding that.”

Naija News reports that Atiku made these known days after President Muhammadu Buhari accused governors of stealing the LG allocations in their states.

However, some of the governors have denied the allegation made against them by the President.

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