Lagos State Government to embark on Local Government assessment tour

As part of the plans to ensure communal growth and development across the State, the Lagos State Government is set to embark on an assessment tour of Local Government Areas across the State.
This development was announced during a briefing with press men by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Communications and Communities, Hon. Kehinde Bamigbetan.


According to Bamigbetan, “the assessment was conceived due to the need to ensure that all Local Government Areas, LCDAs and communities in the State key into the plans of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode towards morphing Lagos into a Mega City.”


It was also gathered that the assessment tour of LGs/LCDAs across the state will include physical checks on markets, roads, monumental structures among several others.




Hon. Bamigbetan while commenting on this said “the officials will do thorough checks on major markets, deplorable roads, monuments and other structures across the various local governments to determine the nature and also ensure that rehabilitation works are done in conjunction with the LGs involved where necessary.”


The Special Adviser reiterated that the assessment tour is in line with the mantra of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode who he said is poised to ensure the Mega City status of Lagos is achieved.


While commenting on the timeline on the tour, Hon. Bamigbetan said the process will commence in few weeks


Source: Inside Mainland

Constitution Review: Senate Gives Life To Local Governments – By Emmanuel Aziken

The Supreme Court decision on December 16, 2016 voiding the sack, on October 29, 2010, of the 16 local government councils in Ekiti State was unarguably the best breather for democracy at the grassroots. The decision with its implication that governors and State Houses of Assembly cannot sack local governments has been largely applauded by democracy enthusiasts, who welcomed it in the face of the unrelenting assault on that tier by governors and state legislators.
Just as former Governor Kayode Fayemi did in dismissing the 16 elected councils, many governors, sometimes in cahoots with Houses of Assembly, have endangered democracy at the third tier with their cavalier dismissal of elected councils at that level. The actions of the governors and the state legislators is despite constitutional provisions as stipulated in Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution spelling that democracy should be firmly exercised at the local government level.
The provision states thus: The system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this Constitution guaranteed; and accordingly, the Government of every State shall, subject to section 8 of this Constitution, ensure their existence under a Law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.
However, the ambiguity in that stipulation as to the tenure of the local governments had been exploited by the governors and state legislative houses to mock the practise of democracy at the third tier. It was thus welcoming that even before the Supreme Court decision, that the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution had initiated moves to address the issue.
The Senator Ike Ekweremadu led committee had in its status report tabled just before the legislators proceeded on the yuletide break unfolded measures to address the issue through proposals to amend the constitution. Constitutional guarantee The move by the Senate aims to amend the constitution to give constitutional guarantee to the practise of democracy at the third tier.
The move by the Senate Committee follows the mandate given it to consider aspects of the Fourth Alteration Bill that had received popular approval from stakeholders. The Ekweremadu Committee in reprocessing Section 7, had strengthened it with the following proposal; A uniform three-year tenure for elected local government council officials; That Local Governments without a democratically elected council shall not be entitled to any revenue from the Federation Account. “These amendments amongst others we believe will ensure effective service delivery and insulate local governments from undue and counter-productive interferences from state governments,” the committee chairman had deposed.
It is remarkable that besides Senator Ekweremadu, Speaker Yakubu Dogara has also been passionate on the fragility of democracy at the local government level and was among those to have welcomed last December’s Supreme Court decision on the Ekiti local government councils.
Whether the House Ad-Hoc Committee on Constitution Review would follow the lead of the Ekweremadu Committee with the passion shown by Speaker Dogara is yet to be ascertained. Meanwhile, other key constitutional alterations being proposed by the committee include a proposal to alter Section 162 to provide for a Distributable Pool Account that would, among others, “provide for national savings of 50 percent of oil revenues above the bench mark for a particular year and 10 per cent of any non-oil revenue paid into the Federation Account.
Also towards strengthening the hand of the local governments, the committee proposed to “abrogate the State Joint Local Government Account and paying monies due to Local Government Councils directly into their respective accounts.” Financial autonomy Perhaps to curtail the late presentations of budget to the legislature, the committee also proposed to alter Sections 82 and 122 of the Constitution to reduce the period within which the President or a Governor may authorize the withdrawal of monies from the Consolidated Revenue Fund in the absence of an Appropriation Act from six months to three months.
The committee also proposed the amendment of Section 121 of the constitution to give financial autonomy to the State Houses of Assembly. The proposal which was presented in the Third Alteration Bill was rejected by some state Houses of Assembly leading to the failure to form the two-third majority needed to push the amendment through. The committee proposed to push through the creation of a mayor for the Federal Capital Territory to replace the minister as presently appointed by the president.
Another fundamental proposal is to amend Sections 147 and 192 to ensure that the President and Governors designate and assign portfolios to persons nominated as ministers or commissioners respectively prior to confirmation by the Senate or State House of Assembly.
Also, the amendment would compel the president and governors to forward their cabinet picks within 60 days of inauguration and ensure that 35% of the nominees are women. It is also being proposed that the president be constitutionally compelled to deliver a State of the Nation Address annually to a joint sitting of the National Assembly.
The proposals also address one of the most controversial clauses of the constitution as seen in Section 315 of the 1999 Constitution which gives the president the right to make laws as contrary to the provisions of Section 4 of the same constitution which stipulates that the lawmaking powers shall be solely exercised by the National Assembly. The proposal by the Senate Committee is to completely remove that provision from the constitution.

Governor Ahmed Constitutes Transition Committees for 16 Local Governments.

The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has approved the constitution of Transition Implementation Committees (TICs) for the sixteen local governments in the state following the dissolution of the councils last week.


According to a statement issued by the Secretary to the Kwara State Government, Alhaji Sola Isiaka Gold, each TIC comprises a Chairman and three Supervisory Councillors. The Secretary to the State Government said the new TICs will be inaugurated next week Monday, 14th November, 2016 by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.


Details to follow soon.

Buhari Supports Reform That Will Allow Local Government Autonomy

President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will support a constitutional amendment to free local governments from the stranglehold of state governments. Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, said in a statement that Buhari made his position known when he received the leadership of the Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (ALGON) on Thursday in Abuja.

He stated that the President told the ALGON leadership that the amendment, when carried out, would better the lot of Nigerians at the community level. He stressed that a constitutional amendment was urgently required to clearly define the relationship among the three tiers of government.

He described the frosty relationship between states and local governments as “very serious constitutional problem.

“The relationship between the three tiers of government is not a very nice one, especially that between the local governments and the states. “The states feel like they own the local governments if they are of the same party. It is worse if they are not. “This is a very serious constitutional problem and unless there is absolute clarity and transparency, the relationship will continue to be exploited against the interest of the ordinary people of the country.”

Buhari advised the ALGON executives to hold consultations with their people and lawyers with a view to presenting a bill that would seek constitutional amendment to free the councils from the stranglehold of the states. He said “this will limit the damage they can do to you. The quicker you do this the better, so that you can help your people much more.”

He acknowledged the request by ALGON for the release of 3.2 billion dollars wrongfully deducted by Federal Government for the final settlement of foreign debts in 2005. President Buhari said the government recognized the judgment debt but the timing of the request for its repayment was wrong, given the current economic situation in the country.

In his remarks, the acting ALGON National President, Alhaji Ibrahim Karaye, presented a six-point demand to the President, which included the repayment of the 3.2 billion dollars debts. He stressed the need to ensure the sovereignty of local government administration in the country.

The ALGON leader expressed the Association’s full support to the President’s programmes on improving security, anti-corruption campaign and economic revival.