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Kwara supports LG autonomy, says AbdulRazaq

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has clarified that Kwara State supports autonomy for local councils. In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Rafiu Ajakaye, the governor said his trust in full autonomy for local governments is unshakable.

He explained: “It is my personal belief that each local government should manage its resources and be responsible for its obligations, including wages that are first line charges. I also believe that the state governor should not be held liable if any local government is unable to pay salaries since we do not touch a kobo of their money.

“We also do not have any joint project accounts with any local government in the state, as was the case with the previous administration in our state.”
The governor added: “These are my personal beliefs. But my personal belief is not necessarily the same as the letters of the law, including the provisions of the JAAC, which is a creation of the Constitution. As of today, local government allocations are sent to the JAAC as required by Section 162 of the Constitution.

“As things stand today, no activity of the local government in Kwara State is at variance with these provisions of the law. Our case in the court is not about my personal belief. It is, we believe, in the defence of the Constitution, which created JAAC for reasons that are well-grounded in our experiences as a people. JAAC, in summary, pools resources to pay all teachers, health workers, traditional rulers, and other statutory duties listed in the schedule of the local government areas. If we all want these to change as a national consensus, we believe that the Constitution will have to be amended to expunge JAAC.”

The state’s PDP had condemned the alleged attempt by the governor to “deceive and confuse the people with his contradictory positions on local government autonomy.”

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