Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), has warned that the new policy introduced by Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) that local governments can’t withdraw beyond half a million Naira for capital expenditure will cripple the third tier of government.
CNPP faulted the federal government’s interference in the running of the councils, saying Section 7 of the 1999 constitution gave the states the powers to regulate the councils’ operations through the oversight functions of the Houses of Assembly.
The political body added that as much as it supported financial autonomy for effective operations of the councils, it insisted that the NFIU policy limiting the expenditure of the councils would ground the local governments and increase poverty level among the citizens.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti on Saturday, the CNPP Chairman in Ekiti, Deacon Olu Akomolafe, said the NFIU policy apart from being ill-motivated, also trampled on the constitution, which gives the states regulatory power over the councils.
He urged the Federal government to look for a better and more effective way to fight corruption at the local government level.
Akomolafe urged the Nigeria governors’ forum to approach the court to contest the NFIU policy, which he described as anti people.
“The NFIU policy limiting withdrawals by any council to fund capital projects to N500,000 is a bad policy and antidemocratic. It will ground the operations of the LG administration.
“With this policy in operation, the LGs would only be effective in the payment of salaries of workers and the capital projects that could have complemented the efforts of the states will be ineffective and people at the grassroots will suffer.
“It is not even right for the FG to meddle in the running of the councils , because section 7 of the 1999 constitution puts the LGs under the control of states.
“If the FG is saying that the states can’t control the local governments, what of the ten percent being given as reimbursement to councils monthly?
“Are they saying the states have no say about how such money is spent?”, he asked.
Setting agenda for Governor Kayode Fayemi on how to run a distinct Nigeria’s Governors’ forum, Akomolafe urged the governor to resist attempt by anybody to divide the forum along parties, ethnic and caucus lines.
“Our dear governor must resist division and prevent the recurrence of Rotimi Amaechi- Jonah Jang debacle in governors forum, so that they can collectively fight for Intervention funds to help the states pay salaries and fund capital projects that will benefit the people,” he said.