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Bwari Council Chair Pushing For Full Local Government Autonomy

The Chairman of the Federal Capital Territory’s (FCT) Bwari Area Council, John Gabaya, has encouraged state governments across the country to release their grasp on the ideal functioning of local governments, which has been muscled and squeezed to near oblivion.

During the current study visit of the council by participants of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies Kuru, Jos’ senior executive course 44, 2022, the Chairman laid the charge at the Council Secretariat in Bwari, Abuja, on Tuesday.

“The importance of local government in the roots and fabrics of excellent and people-oriented governance cannot be overstated,” Gabaya says. ‘The People’ is the government that is closest to the people.

Aside this, local government councils perform a number of unique and indispensable functions, such as: providing services and developement activities at the grassroots in response to local wishes and initiatives; facilitate the exercise of democratic self-government close to the grassroots; mobilize the enormous human and material resources at the grassroots for national developement; as well as serving as a two-way channel of communication between the grassroots and government at the State and Federal level.

“The present practice whereby local governments councils are muscled and squeezed into a near state of oblivion by States Governments all over the country constite serious hindrances and impediments to the attainment of true democracy and good governance in Nigeria. Infact, it is a heinous crime against democratic and self-government.

“The voice and the work of this great Institute commands great respect, regards and attention among scholars, policy makers, technocrats, administrators, politicians and people in leadership positions across the nation and beyond. I am therefore very excited and hopeful that your study and report at the end of this course and tour will add more weight to the cry and quest for true autonomy for local governments in the country” , he added.

The Director General of NIPSS, Prof. Ochoche then lead a delegation of the participants to the palaces of HRH, Alhaji Awal Musa Jakuro, Sarakin Bwari and HRH, Danlamin Yaro, the Etsu of Bwari respectively, where the participants asked questions about the role of traditional rulers in administring their subjects, with the view in mind that the have no constitutional role, and how they get their funding.

The traditional rulers responded that the solve the security issues and conflicts between their subjects and asked to be given control over land too.

While speaking on the issue of funding a staff in the Area Councils Service Secretariat, FCT Administration takes care of salaries and welfare of the 17 graded chiefs in the six Area Councils, while the Area Councils take care of the district heads and village chiefs, via statutory allocation from Federal Government, 10 percent from FCT Internally Generated Revenue and quarterly funds Department of Outdoor Advertisement and synerge (DOAS).

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