A political analyst in Benue State, Chief Isaac Akinkunmi, has advocated the scrapping of the local government administrative system in the country to pave way for a better development of the grassroots.
Akinkunmi, who was speaking with newsmen, in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, on Tuesday, posited that the third tier of government as presently constituted in Nigeria was a drain on the nation’s economy.
Akinkunmi, who is presently the leader of the Yoruba Community in Benue State, however, maintained that if the Federal Government wanted to continue with the local government system, it could do so but ensure that religious and community leaders make up the leadership.
“In the event that federal government decides to retain the third tier of government, I suggest that its leadership should consist of religious and community leaders who should be appointed on part time basis.”
The political analyst who lamented what he described as rots inherent in the third tier of government in the country stated that the purpose for which the local government system was established had been defeated as a result of the the rot which had made it difficult for the council to provide good governance and infrastructural development to the grassroots.
Akinkunmi listed some of the rots to include over bloated staff strength, financial embezzlement, idleness, nepotism and favoritism which he said were inherent in all council areas across the country.
“Eighty percent of local government workers are idle. They contribute nothing to the system but only wait and collect their salary at the end of the month. In fact, in some cases, the same people still end up pilfering from the council’s purse.
Imagine some local governments which should not have more than 150 workers having over 1,500 workers on their payrolls. Aside this, you have elected chairmen, councillors and appointed supervisory councillors and all these burdens are on the allocation from federal government.
“To me there is no need of having local government in the country because they serve no purpose and I prefer that they be scrapped or in the alternative, if the federal government insists on retaining it let the councils be administered by religious and community leaders on part time basis.”
The political analyst averred that of the 774 local government areas in the country, only very few could stand on their own without relying on the federal allocations for survival as many of them cannot even boast of internally generated revenues while the little that is being generated in most cases are diverted into private purses.
“Despite this problem, 85 percent of the allocation is expended on recurrent expenditure, while most of the council areas do not have record of internally generated revenue because it is diverted into private use. With all these rots in the system, of what purpose does local government serve in the country?” he queried.