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Ex-lawmaker urges revenue sharing formula review, LG autonomy

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Ex-lawmaker urges revenue sharing formula review, LG autonomy

A former member of the House of Representatives, Chief Sam Onuigbo, has called for the review of the revenue sharing formula to enhance good governance in the country.

Onuigbo, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja, said that many sections of the constitution deserve amendments.

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The call comes as the National Assembly takes steps to review the 1999 Constitution.

He said the revenue sharing formula should ensure that the three tiers of government get enough resources to perform their constitutional duties.

“For us to enhance good governance in Nigeria, we need the judicious application of resources and this can be achieved through a constitution that guarantees fair equitable and judicious distribution of revenue,“ he said.

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He also urged the national assembly to grant total autonomy to the local governments to ensure that they delivered on their mandates.

Oniugbo said without total autonomy for the local governments, it would be difficult for them to have access to funds to perform optimally.

He said it was unfortunate that after sharing the resources among the three tiers of government, the local governments have no control over their resources due to the interference of the state governors.

He urged the 10th National Assembly to grant the LGAs autonomy to allow the local governments to have control over their resources.

“Many areas of the constitution deserve a second look. I know that we have been taking it bit by bit in ensuring that we amend the constitution to take care of the challenges we have been having,“ he said.

Onuigbo said that the 6th National Assembly was able to amend the constitution to resolve the controversial transfer of power from the president to his Vice.

He said that the process that brings the local government chairmen and councillors into office is determined by the party in power and state governors.

Onuigbo told NAN that this practice does not allow for judicious and transparent use of funds accruing to the local governments.

Onuigo recalled that at the beginning of the present democratic dispensation in 1999, local government chairmen could execute projects in their areas.

“`We should amend the constitution and grant this autonomy so that we can return to what it was then,“ he said.

He said that section seven of the 1999 constitution as amended guarantees the existence of the local government.

The former lawmaker, who faulted the provision of the constitution that gives power to the state Houses of Assembly to make laws for the local governments, said it had crippled their functionality.

“We need local governments to become fully operational so as to keep the rural people busy and this will go a long way to move governance to the grassroots and reduce criminal activities, “ he said

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