Chairman, Mangu local government area of Plateau State, Caleb Mutfwang has said that the country is not yet ripe for local government autonomy.
Mutfwang in a chat with newsmen in Jos yesterday, argued that much was needed to be done in terms of reforms and restructuring before such a huge responsibility is given to the local governments.
The clamour for local government autonomy has been a thorny issue in the nation’s political discourse for some years now with the political class, labour unions and civil societies at the fore front.
“I am not completely against LG autonomy but what I am afraid of is the crisis that will accompany it if the level and structure of accountability in these councils are not improved upon,” he argued.
Mutfwang further noted that, “There are merits for the autonomy but the low IGR base of these LGAs is a clear case that they are not fully prepared for autonomy.”
The council boss said that in the last 15 to 20 years, the LGAs had been more or less dumping grounds for the less-educated personnel at that level, which needed much to be desired.
According to him, “There is need for massive reforms in the LGAs; for without qualitative managers to pilot the affairs of the local governments, the autonomy will be a wastage and grave mistake.”
He said unless the elites would take more genuine interest in LG administration to bring their wealth of experiences to bear on challenges of the areas, the rot would still continue.
“There must be an inflow into the financial system of the LGAs and their finances must be managed by well educated and trained personnel, who have the ability and integrity to protect the citizens beyond the area.
“I support autonomy but it must be gradual, more so that it goes beyond finances that come from the national treasury but it should come when each council will be able to generate its revenue to run its affairs,” he said.

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