By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Abuja, Aug. 13, 2020 The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) says there is need for urgent improvement in the standard of living for the rural populace as a panacea to security challenges in rural communities.
National President of the association, Mr Kolade Alabi, made the remark at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on Thursday in Abuja.
Alabi assured the rural dwellers in the country of better days after the association’s strategic visit to Morocco and the untapped benefits of United European Fund.
He said: “We have equally maintained our follow up, collaboration and synergy with the United Cities and Local Governments-Africa (UCLGAfrica) and that of the European Union have been established.
“I wish to further bring to your notice, some other concerns already placed in the front-burner for local councils to be treated as state Actors before the Federal government for consideration and upward review.
“ALGON as well as other members of UCLG Africa, haven been recognised as state actors, have the unique opportunity to now participate in the dialogue with the EUD, representatives of the Federal Government in the formulation and execution of agreed programmes.
He emphasised that key efforts were already in place to review local government areas’ revenue allocation formula with the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission and also retrieve Paris Funds.
“We have also been invited to present our memorandum on the review of Revenue Allocation Formula by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission,” he said.
Alabi explained that with the review of the fiscal revenue allocation formula, local government areas get 20.60 per cent, state governments 26. 72 per cent while the Federal Government gets 52.68 per cent.
According to him, we have so much in our hands to contend with and the paltry sum allocated is grossly inadequate.
He, therefore, called for more allocation to the local government areas to address problems of infrastructure, primary healthcare and other challenges.
The president also assured members that the previous deprived TV Rights Funds accrued to ALGON would be recovered.
“I am assiduously deploying all reasonable, diligent and legal means aimed at the aforementioned instances, secure the release of all accrued benefits over the years to the local government areas throughout the federation, ” he said.
Other members of ALGON also said that a holistic development could only be achieved when local government area levels were well funded and supported with compelling policies.
On his part, ALGON Chairman in Delta and Former Deputy National President, Mr Itiaka Ikpokpo, said that Delta was almost 95 per cent ready to implement the vigilante structure.
He also noted that the House of Representatives and the Senate had waded into the matter as the police was doing its best for the people too.
Also, Mr Isah Mohammed, ALGON Chairman, Bauchi State, said that the local government areas should be fully funded to see the end of insecurity in the country.
According to him, the Federal Government and the state should always involve the local government areas when drawing health care programmes for better implementation.
Mr Odunayo Ategbero, Chairman, Board of Trustees, said that the bulk of work and huge responsibilities were on the local governments areas.
“If you develop the local governments areas, you have developed the nation,” he said
By Emmanuel Oloniruha