The Social Action in collaboration with the Delta LGA Budget Advocacy Committee has called for scrapping of the joint account for States and LGAs.
The group, who made the call at a press conference held on Thursday in Asaba, noted that the dissolution of the joint account was neccessary in other to give autonomy to the LGAs.
Barr. (Mrs.) Augustina Odunna, Coordinator, Delta Advocacy Committee for Social Action who spoke on behalf of the committee, said the joint account was counter-productive to the growth and development of the LGAs
“The Delta State Local Government Budget Advocate Committee demands that the local governments be granted full autonomy to truly function as a tier of government.
“This is why we are calling for the scrapping of the joint account being operated by the LGAs and State
“Because once that is done, we will have transparency and accountability in the administration of the LGAs.
“As stakeholders, we demand that LGAs in Delta State operate an open, inclusive and participatory budget process.
“This will help in enthroning transparency and accountability in the utilization of public resources, Odunna said.
According to her, LGAs in Delta and others across the country, should as a matter of urgency carry out needs assesment in communities to address the abject lack of development in the areas.
The executive secretary noted that over the past two years, Social Action and the Committee, with support from United Nation Democracy Fund (UNDEF) have consistently advocated for local government autonomy in Nigeria.
She pointed out that autonomy for LGAs is recognised as a foundation for accountability at the LGA levels and for grassroots development.
“It is therefore with a sense of urgency and unwavering commitment that we continue this crucial campaign which has seen some states in Nigeria rally support for this cause.
“It noted that amending the Constitution is imperative, because until local governments regain their capacity to serve their communities, good governance will remain elusive in Nigeria”, Odunna said.
She urged the Delta House of Assembly to as a matter of neccesity, proceed to enact a law directing all LGAs to have functional websites, clear communication channels for the communities’s access to fiscal documents.
According to her, it is high time the people should turn searchlights on the leadership of the LGAs to ask critical questions in relation to their collective resources.