• Friday, July 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Jubilation hit Plateau as supreme court declares local government autonomy

Supreme-Court

In a historic judgment, the Supreme Court of Nigeria on Thursday ruled that it is illegal for state governors to control local government funds. The court declared that local government funds should be sent directly to the councils from the federation account, effective immediately.

The federal government, through the Attorney General of the Federation, had taken the 36 state governors to court over the issue. Jubilation hit Plateau State as news of the ruling spread, with local government workers and officials celebrating their newfound autonomy.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling is a significant victory for local government autonomy and a major blow to the governors’ grip on power”; declared a staff of Jos south local government who preferred anonymity.

BusinessDay gathered that the state’s local government councils had been at the forefront of the battle for financial independence, and the ruling is seen as a major victory for their efforts.

Speaking to BusinessDay on the ruling in Jos, a Staff of Mangu local government who also pleaded anonymity said “Supreme Court’s judgment sets a precedent for future cases involving local government autonomy and financial independence.

“The ruling is expected to have far-reaching implications for the country’s political landscape, as local governments gain greater control over their finances.

“Local government councils will now be able to deliver services more effectively to their communities, without interference from state governors”.

Peter Aware, a public affairs commentator told BusinessDay in Jos that the federal government’s decision to take the governors to court is seen as a commitment to decentralizing power and promoting true federalism.

BusinessDay reports that the ruling is a significant step towards decentralizing power and promoting true federalism in Nigeria, and is expected to have a positive impact on grassroots development.