“No State Govt Has The Right To Touch Money Allocated To Local Government Councils”

Governor of Zamfara State and chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Abdulaziz Yari, has said that no state government has the right to touch money allocated to local government councils.

He told State House corespondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday that only the State Houses of Assembly are constitutionally empowered to manage local government finances, noting that the essence of joint state/local government account is not for the state governments to control the funds.

He said: “This is a constitutional matter. Section 7 has given power to the Assembly to manage finances of the state. And if you could remember, so many attempts have been made to the National Assembly to amend the section but it failed.

“But the essence of joint account to my understanding as governor is not to hold the money, as the money is coming as the constitution spells out. The House of Assembly has to oversee the administration and finances of the state. So therefore, that is the meaning of joint account. If it is done properly, nobody should hold any local government money.

“I doubt if there is any state that is holding any local government funds. But I think what used to happen in my own case is, maybe, if we are having a development project, we vote together on percentage basis, maybe 60-40.

“This is the only thing that could make a state touch the monies of local governments. Otherwise, all the monies go to the local governments. So, no one as a governor has the right to touch local governments’ money.

“Although there are speculations that some states are holding local government money, maybe because there are no elections in those local governments. It is administrators, but constitutionally, it is the right of local governments which must be exercised.”

 

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