….Describes LG autonomy as catalyst for rural development
Professor Abdulrauf Ambali of Department of Politics and Governance, Kwara State University (KWASU) has identified Joint Allocation Account System between Local and State Governments as one of the major obstacles hampering the smooth running of local government administration in Nigeria.
He equally recommended the local government autonomy, describing it as a catalyst for the attainment of better rural development.
Delivering the 8th inaugural lecture of the University on Wednesday (April 27, 2022) titled “Administration and Governance at the Brink of Collapse: A Search for the Root Cause and Ways to Reposition the System”, a renowned Professor of Political Science recommended an urgent need to abolish the present joint account system between the local and state governments in Nigeria.
“The abolishment is necessary because it has rendered the local government areas underdeveloped and backward in many social amenities due to financial constraints.
“It has made local governments dormant in their activities and primary duties towards the people at the grass root level. The local government chairmen are no longer elected but selected on the basis of subjectivity and closeness rather than meritocracy, and quality of the qualifications” he said.
Prof Ambali posited further that the joint account system has practically reduced the constitutional power of the council chairman and above it all, the chairmen are conquered by the joint account placed under the state governor.
Prof Ambali (right) presenting copy of the lecture to the VC, Prof Akanbi SAN shortly after the presentation
He also explained that the autonomy of Local Government as the third tier of governance system is highly recommended for enriching the socio-economic and political development of the rural areas.
“This is extremely important in the governing system, where the local government is expected to be independent of the state government. The present situation in Nigeria is very pathetic because the constitutional roles of the local government have been taken away by the state” he added.
He equally recommended digital administrative policy at all levels of governments as well as private establishments which according to him will usher in efficient and effective administrative system.
“There is dire need for the establishment of efficient and effective system in different institutions and agencies of the government. This can only be done through the adoption of digital administration policy. Not only adoption but with effective implementation and internal mechanisms put in place for tracking and monitoring.
This policy, he assured, would reduce various forms of corruption in the administrative and governance system, especially in many African countries like Nigeria where people abuse their offices because they stand above the system.
Professor Ambali also called for the promotion of aocial Inclusion policies by the Government for effective administration and good governance, pointing out that policy of inclusiveness is the order of the day where all ethnic groups in multi-ethnic countries of the world feel the sense of belonging.
“This must be the policy agenda driven by the notion of service to all groups that make up a particular country. This will eliminate the feeling of marginalization of some group of people in the society that may result to secession and thinking of breaking apart to be another independent nation” he said.
He however advised people on the corridor of powers in Nigeria to think outside the box by creating more avenue for increased Private Partnership in the areas of basic necessities of life.
“For example, in the area of welfare policy, particularly housing system that is highly demanded by citizens, government should arrange with real estate developers. The government just needs to give developers concessional amount of the cost implications for the projects using a Build Operate Transfer (BOT) approach.
In his remarks shortly after the lecture, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Muhammed Mustapaha Akanbi SAN commended the inaugural lecturer for the good research work and quality presentation and congratulated him on the occasion of his well attended inaugural lecture.